Found Clean

A bit of art tucked with old scribbles, found while cleaning out bins.

img_20160127_142124.jpg #400, dated July 2015 (cell phone photo)

Thanks for looking!


Water Cooler Blues

img_20160127_011855.jpgNew addition to the homestead relocation program: one slightly used water cooler. Three 5 gallon jugs of spring water will arrive later this afternoon. Yes, I signed up for home delivery service. It is well worth the $3 fee as a full jug weigh 42 pounds, which makes it a bit hard for a disabled woman to haul home via bus.

Someday, the jugs will be delivered to my workshop.

There has been a shift in the paragon. I am more focused now. The only difference between an illusive dream and an achievable goal is a well executed plan of action.

Why did I use that word? What is a paragon?

I had to stop and look it up.  Paragon is a noun that means “a model or pattern of excellence” so yes, I suppose it is the right word to use as there has definitely been a shift in my life patterns since I wrote Sixteen Changes.

The water cooler comes with two taps handled in primary colors: red hot and blue cold.

I don’t have taps inside me. I cannot turn my feelings on and off, cannot make myself stop caring about someone who axed our friendship just because they jumped to a raw conclusion.

Yes, he was hurt because I kept secrets, lied by omission, did not immediately tell him about everything that was going on with me… it was personal, about ME… had nothing to do with him.

Want to talk secrets? Lies by omission?

I lie every single time I say a variation of “okay” in response to “How are you?” Why? Because giving an honest answer feels like asking for pity and I won’t tolerate pity from anyone; refuse to pity my own self. What I deal with is no one else’s business, unless you happen to be my doctor or sleep in my bed, feel me jerk with every spasm. Besides, attitude is everything… how am I supposed to keep a positive attitude about living with disability when those around me look at me with sad puppy eyes or burst into tears because I can’t do what THEY like or want to do?

Everyone lies by omission. Meow. Yes, even that friend lied by omission… hid the fact his kitten survived. Oh well… unfriending me was his choice.

I miss my friend, but harbor no hope for redemption.

I’m thinking this shift in the paragon might be good for both of us. That maybe being each other’s long distant muse was no longer beneficial to him… like texting me was a diversion, a way to pass time, a means to think about doing without actually doing anything… like the man is an excellent poet with performance art experience, but is too paralyzed by depression to go to a poetry reading.

As for me? I will survive.

It feels odd to slam out a chapter on a new story and be really psyched about it and NOT discuss it or toss a printed copy into the mail. But, I read it out loud to my sister in Michigan and I will take it to my local Writer’s Workshop on Thursday.

I went way out on a new limb with this one… jumped right into the middle of a fantasy action adventure story by writing the chapter as it would be if it were a scene in a movie.

I don’t know what chapter it is… it might be 4 or 5 or 18… sis thinks it could stand AS the first chapter, being that it is an action adventure story. I do have a vague idea of what came before; but, this particular scene is what filled my mind. It was the scene I had to write. And it was so much fun! Things happened that I did not plan. I have no idea of how this story will end. I’m just going to write it, one scene at a time.

Then I really went out on a limb… gave a printed copy to a reader (not a writer) because he asked if he could read it. That is scary because it feels like I am exposing a part of me that he does not know yet. Writing about anything, even pure fiction “outside” yourself, is kind of like walking naked in public. When you pour your heart and soul into anything creative, it comes out in the work. Other people might not see it, but the person who made it or wrote it does. On that note, thanks for reading!



DIY Doll Surgery

Warning: this post contains graphic photos that may upset wee children… just remembering my own child freaking out, screaming and pointing at the window of a clothes dryer as her beloved teddy bear rolled round and round… poor teddy had lost an eye in the wash.

doll (3)This is what happens when some boys play with dolls.  My grandson turned this 18″ Gotz Puppe (made in Germany, same size as American Girl dolls) into the Bride of Chuckie. She was also body slammed repeatedly in “wrestle man” games, then left for dead in the bottom of grandma’s toy box. I snapped this photo to make a good morning meme.

A few days ago, a little girl was here visiting with her mom and grandfather. She helped me scrub down the “scary” doll’s face with Nozema and we started combing out her hair. When it was time for the child to leave, we put the doll down for a nap on the couch.


Last night, I laid her out on a bench for this photo. What she really needs is a doll hospital… but medical bills for a toy (plus shipping both ways) is cost prohibitive for this grandma’s budget.  I would have to fix her myself, using whatever supplies I have on hand.

I imagine doll doctors would remove her head… but I don’t have the tools or the band thing to put it back on right, so I flipped her upside down and slit her back open with an X-acto blade for a little exploratory surgery. I needed to know how that cord runs before I could figure out how to snug up those limbs.


Detaching the limbs was pretty easy. Each was attached by a thick elastic cord with a cup thingy on each side of the joint. The cord was too frayed to tighten up.


I did not have the right type of cord, but I did have some rat-tail beading cord that might work… and 8 odd beads to tie onto the cord to keep the cord from pulling through the holes in those cup things.


I thought this would be the hard part, but warming up the vinyl a bit in simmering water made it easy to pop those cup things back into the arms and legs.


This is an “inside the incision” shot of the first leg joint tied down with a bead, triple knotted for security. I orientated the cup inside the body as it was originally, even though I thought about flipping it.


The hard part was stitching her back up… all that stuffing had to go back in and get poked and squished around as it was before, lest she’d be lumpy or oddly shaped. Then her back had to be drawn in tight, stitched on the same line or her clothes wouldn’t fit right. I started with quilting thread, then switched to a stronger beading cord that could take the stress without breaking.

I did not photograph her “scar” line.
Dolly was a trooper… she did not whimper at all.

IMG_20160120_223402Here she is all done… she’s wearing a two piece swim suit cut from a fuzzy sock that had lost its mate.

Sock panties for dolls are easy to make… just cut ye 4 inches up from the toe (give or take, that’s the waist band so better to go too much and trim later) and then slice a ye 1″ slit on each side of the toe for leg holes. Sewing is optional… I didn’t bother to hem anything.

The top is the top part of the sock, with a slit cut to make the neck strap, put on like a tube top.

I suppose professional doll repairers, doll hospital doctors, and doll collectors would all cringe seeing this post… if you got the money to have toys professionally repaired, go for it… if not, DIY.

Now, to finish combing out that hair… thanks for reading.