NY 2019

In the first light of the New Year,
I stood alone to face the dawn
And raised a glass of Seven cheer
For all that has come and gone.


Hello 2019

So it begins… I’m a firm believer that what you do on New Year’s Eve and Day will set the tone for the entire year. I want to live a peaceful, creative life in harmony with my own self so I shall do things today and tomorrow that will nurture my soul and affirm intentions.

I have a list. Yeah. I’ve been thinking about this for days and gave everyone who likes to pop in on me unannounced a heads up, like a leave me be… let me do my thing, love you but I don’t want to socialize this year. I want to make art and toast the dawn, light candles in the snow. It’s a solitary thing.

Well, forget the snow as the forecast is rain today tapering off after midnight. Sunrise should be a dry 42 degrees. Perhaps KiKi Gath Ddu and Ysbryd with join me.

Yeah… up to feeding two black cats now.

This photo is KiKi, snapped when she came in on a cold night. I named the elusive feral Ysbryd (Welsh for Ghost) because he is rarely seen and looks so much like Marsberry that my grandsons told me that I “pranked” them about Mars being dead. I’m pretty sure Ysbryd is the same black cat that freaked the vet out in 2017 (wrote about that and crack back then, here’s a link:  Crackerjacks).

I’m pretty sure that KiKi has some kind of relationship going on with Ysbryd as he showed up the night my neighbor “recused” KiKi and brought her to my house.  I was told that she was a sweet little house kitty, abandoned when her owner moved, but it is fairly obvious that KiKi is a full grown cat who loves the outdoor life. She won’t come in unless it’s bitter cold (less than 20 degrees) and I know she’s bedding down somewhere, perhaps nesting in the old compost bin with Ysbryd, as I’ve seen her walk the exact same path across the back yard as the feral and have brushed out bits of weeds out of her fur. She knows this is home, shows up every night for dinner on the porch. I’m pretty sure Ysbryd eats here, too. That’s KiKi’s doing. She wants those dog-size dishes filled to the top, more than enough for two or three cats. Most days, it is gone before morning.

Oh well… here’s my New Year’s List of 19 for 2019 (in no particular order):

  1. Out with the old… take down Christmas decorations; take the vet’s coats off my kitchen coat rack, bag them up and stash them in a closet with his other stuff that he’s yet to take home.
  2. Set up “new” work table (a street find) in my office/studio space, rearranging furniture till it feels right, opening space to relocate this computer in there, too.
  3. Straighten up the kitchen dining area and baking center, stashing away holiday supplies.
  4. Write a blog post (this one).
  5. Try a pour painting technique, just for grins.
  6. Finish painting the outdoor ashtray stand (base coated months ago).
  7. Hang more art (have to drill holes in old walls for that, too.)
  8. Photograph the back side of “Endure” before rehanging it on the wall (plan to post it for sale).
  9. Tear pole lamp found on curb apart, paint flowers or something on the shade.
  10. Spray paint and hang the Gong (outdoors, must be over 40 degrees, no rain).
  11. Invent a new recipe (thinking stuffed chicken nuggets).
  12. Wake up before dawn (ditto tomorrow).
  13. Light candles and toast the first dawn of the new year.
  14. Bead a crystal bracelet for a friend who likes to sparkle.
  15. Crochet at least a row or two on that shawl started awhile back.
  16. Write down that blues poem… it’s like lyrics to a song being writ in my head.
  17. Sharpen all my pencils. If I feel like it, start a new drawing.
  18. Start listing old colored pencil drawings for sale online.
  19. Apply temporary tattoo for grownups purchased awhile back.

These are not resolutions. There’s no deadline, no timeline… might take a few days before I can check everything off, but that’s how I want to start my year. I hope you get to start yours as you please, too.

Here’s to good things for us all… thanks for reading!

Hibernation Contemplation

Okay, just thoughts… as wicked winds sweep through the concrete canyons of downtown Youngstown, splitting at the intersection of Market and Boardman Streets to whip flags to fly in different directions, and snow blows when it may, I savor the solitude of winter hibernation.

Cabin Fever is never an issue.  I have more than enough to keep myself busy, mainly photos to snap and dozens of listings to write up and post as I slowly stock the virtual shelves  in my new web store. (That, I write about on my biz blog, YBWorks. This blog is my personal blog… where I can write about anything.) There is always something to do as temps drop bitter cold.

I like being alone, as in solitude is when things get done.

It is also a good time to think. My thoughts wander on their own, sift and sort and draw conclusions free from distractions of social interactions.

I have determined that the only way I can continue to live in this apartment building is by distancing myself from the group home mentality that goes on here. It is “senior housing” for elderly and disabled persons, but it is not an assisted living type facility. It is an apartment building. I rented an apartment in this building, just as I would rent an apartment anywhere else. It is not a “room” as I heard a security guard refer to someone’s apartment, nor am I a “resident” who “stays” here. I am a tenant. I live in a rented apartment. Terms used to describe things are important. Words are important.

This is not my first rental rodeo… I’ve lived in many apartments over the years, had over a dozen different landlords, and never had a landlord’s management staff so involved in their tenant’s lives. Therefore, I must take steps to maintain an appropriate tenant/landlord relationship with the staff here. That means that I cannot participate in activities planned for residents. I know that they are trying to provide social interaction opportunities and helpful services for elderly and disabled people who may otherwise go without, but the line between property management and running an unlicensed facility sometimes gets blurred.  I feel like I’m in a group home with my visitors monitored, that the file the service coordinator wants to update is my client file, so no… I cannot go to bingo or anything else going on here. For my own mental health, I have to pretend that this is a NORMAL apartment building. Otherwise, I will have to exit sooner than planned.

Yes, I have an exit plan.  Management may be happy to read that I plan to move out someday (yes, read… I heard that links were shared after I wrote about the sensor issues.) Family will be happy, as the frequency of fire trucks called to this location (mostly for minor kitchen smoke) makes them worry about me being trapped in a major fire here. But, that is NOT why I am moving. My reasons are personal. I am looking down the barrel at the last twenty years of my life (if I’m lucky to live so long) and making decisions about where and how I want to spend my golden years.

To execute my plan, I have to downsize and raise some serious moving cash. It will take some time… maybe a year or two, but it feels good to have a plan.

Tomorrow will be another frigid day.  I tried to snap a cell photo of how the winds whip flags in different directions back in daylight (yesterday, as it is after midnight) but snow fog obscures the view of flags flying atop the courthouse. Here it is…


No matter how you slice it, the winds flowing through the concrete canyons are COLD!

Thanks for reading!