Nooks & Crannies

Mildred Sugar Mills, a.k.a. Sugs

Be sure to leave plenty of nooks and crannies for the studio cats. This is Millie, Maybe Mabel’s sister. The girls are in training, exploring as we go. I’m setting up the horrid room as my studio space after months of decluttering, arranging odd bits of curb finds and old furniture. It all needs cleaned. I see more dust and dirt in photos than with my own eyes.

I regret painting everything shades of blue in 2018. I had to flip rooms, couldn’t sleep in the large bedroom after the Vet moved out. My mind was everywhere but neutral. Then the room slowly became a catch-all, clutter growing like an underbrush overtaking rements of semi-organized storage, making it harder to find things.

Familiar pattern? Yes. The same thing has happened in every place I’ve ever lived with a “spare” room. So much easier to hide a mess, quick clean… just haul or toss it in and shut the door. Occasionally wander into the forrest to gather supplies needed to make art elsewhere, so much time lost searching.

Patterns… if you want things to change, you got to make some changes.

It’s not easy. Joining a decluttering support group on Facebook has proven to be very beneficial. I also put myself back in therapy, set some goals to work on various aspects of my life, as everything is intertwined.

I’m going to come out of this stronger, better, and more sure of myself than ever. That’s a far cry from the “I’m old, I’m ye blind, it is what it is, so be it” mentality that has plaqued me for awhile. It was not really defeated, more of a quiet acceptance of being done, no time left for dreams, out of someday ideas… no desire or ambition. This new thing is like a stir between the two… old enough to be aware of my limitations, setting myself and my space up to enjoy my creativity without unnecessary frustrations.

Thanks for reading!

NOTE: This post launches “Beyond” as all posts before my blogging hiatus were written by me before what feels like a line drawn in the sands of time.

Alas, At Last

I quieted myself. No, I didn’t go underground in isolation. Sometimes, you just need to step back and reevaluate, seek clarity of mind, and step into your own light.

My covid winter was abuzz with activity even though I rarely left the house. Volunteer work for a local community organization was and still is my link to the outside world. I edit their 10 page monthly newsletter. Articles and other content arrive via email so it’s mostly copy, paste, arrange and format. I write the fillers; look for things to fill pages that might be of interest to readers. I also serve on the board and virtually chair a committee.

This old house got my stimulus. I bought lumber, flooring, paint, tools & supplies, some art supplies, a new ceiling fan, chair height toilet, and a frikkin 5 burner stove.

New stove, old floor.
New floor, fake countertop.

Yeah, the counter is fake. It’s temporary, just laminated with contact paper because a sink and new countertops were not in the budget.

It’s a work in progress. What I want to do and can do are not the same. Straight up, disability sucks as it is hard to find people who actually follow through on what I hire them to do.

Everyone thinks their time is worth 40 an hour, too. Now I expect to pay professional rates when hiring licensed skilled professionals or independent contractors with legit businesses and normal overhead, but when I’m hiring someone’s unemployed weedhead brother to do simple things a 12 year old could do, I don’t want to pay more than 15 an hour. Actually, 9 to 12 is fair… that’s what a contractor would pay if they got hired to do the exact same things.

I called a temp agency and asked about hiring part-time day labor. They don’t do that. Maybe I should hire a 12 year old, my granddaughter. I can argue with her when she thinks her time is worth 20.

Tea & Troubles

I put on a pot of tea today, not doing well, weak as hell but can’t complain. Today’s brew is Tawantin Black Tea, which is not as purple as the Peruvian Spiced Berry in the photo’s cup. Yeah, snapped that photo weeks ago in kind of a show n’ tell after my cousin turned me on to Cleveland’s own Inca Tea.

I like the black. To be straight up and honest, I’m not that into tea so I’m still slowly tasting all the varieties that came in the Sample Box. So far, so good… most days, I opt for coffee. Sumatra is my favorite.

As for Troubles… I’ve had enough.

My little mask sewing obsession quieted itself. Suppose I should update Mice4Mars, sell off leftovers on eBay or something, but oh well. I just got tired of assholes claiming this virus would magically disappear on election day, mostly from idiots who now support a wannabe fascist dictator’s attempt to undermine our democratic process by overthrowing the results of an election. People are dying and they don’t care… it’s just a political ploy, a media hoax? Yeah, until you run out of fingers counting names familiar to your own self amongst the critically ill or worse. Bump the conspiracy bull.

I want to make paper.

I don’t have any proper screens for that, but I have two thin wooden picture frames, just cheap things sold as craft supplies to decorate yourself, and some scraps of window screen somewhere in this room. I don’t own a blender either, but I could maybe use one of those bullet smoothie things to make pulp, maybe the cup for chopping nuts. Those 4×6 picture frames would mold 3.75 x 5.75 inch paper, with rounded corners. Folded in half, hand stitched spine, would make nice little books. Or even as flat sheets, I could paint on them or something.

Echo in my head, in sister words: stop making small art.

Why? Is bigger better? Ironically, I’ve always been too big. Everyone always trying to cut me down to size. Too this, too that, too much. Bump that, too.

My cup is empty. Thanks for reading.