The Fallacy Of A Stiff Upper Lip

“Keep a stiff upper lip.” It’s a phrase most of us have heard in different forms since we were children and began to show emotion in response to whatever circumstances we were in: “Big boys don’t cry.” “Deal With It.” Shut up that noise.” “Bite the bullet.” “Keep your chin up.” “Nobody wants to hear about your problems.”

Now, I will quickly say that yes, the pendulum can swing too far over to the other side and everything becomes mushy and maudlin. Everyone is a victim. Everything deserves tears. But honestly, there IS a happy medium and we can make an effort to land on it. Does your friend hurt? Let them know you are a safe haven for them to be vulnerable. Do you see someone in need? Don’t assume someone else will minister to them.

This has been resonating with me since I read a post about loneliness. Basically the writer explains that everyone at some time feels lonely, because of separation, whether by death, divorce or distance. Artists have to deal with it a lot, especially when what they are trying to say is misunderstood. Many artists express their gifts from a place of pain. Then at the end of his blog, the writer states that loneliness is a choice – not being alone, but loneliness.

If only loneliness were just a choice. I suffer from a debilitating incurable disease which leaves me housebound most days and has taken my life and turned it upside down, from vibrant, full days with my antique business, travel with my husband and many side activities. When I was struck with this illness, friends drifted off, I was in a great deal of pain, and our lives came to a standstill. I began to play with art, and picked up an old hobby of photography. I cannot sell at art shows, my cognitive abilities are impaired, so it is difficult for me to do marketing because my brain tires, but I create art with any time I have where I have a bit of energy. I cannot handle people around me, so I am a hermit most of the time (with a loving and supportive husband). But yes, I am lonely. I am admired, I am praised, but I am lonely. I miss the opportunity to discuss things with friends, to go for coffee, to go out on dates with my husband. Creating art is fulfilling, but the business of art is exhausting. I cannot follow the suggested courses of action for marketing art. Most of our earlier friends have all disappeared, although I tried to keep in touch with emails and letters, but answers dwindled to nothing, which is very common with people who have invisible illnesses. I would be utterly devastated if there were no internet access – it is my connection to the world. We have a big art community in our area, but for the most part my participation is just a small inroad from the outside. I submit to juried art shows and have some success. I have been asked to put on shows and new friends help hang things, but they have their own lives and cannot be there all of the time. I have my work in a gallery, but cannot get there as often as I would like to change things out, because I have to depend on someone to drive me. Frankly, I miss people, and because I do not look sick, it makes it hard to build a rapport with the few people I do meet. I even get hard stares when we park in a handicap space. Lonely is not always a choice. It certainly hasn’t been for me in the past 7 years. Do I feel sorry for myself? No. But I can admit that it is very lonely being in this position.

But because of the “stiff upper lip” rationale, it’s hard for people in need to reach out. And the flip side is that it’s hard as a “normal” person to accept someone reaching out. We feel uncomfortable around sick people, we don’t know how to solve the problem, we doubt their veracity. We tell them, by our actions and attitudes –  “Just keep a stiff upper lip.” We learned from childhood that vulnerability is a big sign of weakness, we are taught that there are agencies in place “for these people.”

Well then, I say that all of that is just a crappy excuse. Don’t know what to say? Say “Hi, thinking of you.” Don’t know what to do? Send them a card, postcard, or letter. We who are sick don’t need you to fix our problems, we just need to be remembered. I can’t be included in many things, but it’s nice to know I’ll be missed. Don’t be afraid to tell me about your day, or your vacation, I want to experience your joy, or your frustration. I can’t always answer you immediately, but I sure do appreciate the time you have taken. And if you are the one in need, no one can offer anything to you if you DON”T speak up!

Someday, you may need someone. Let people know you care, and give them some of your time. Nothing in this world is more important than giving a smile or greetings to another person, sick or well.

Enjoy your life one day at a time!


A Day Trimmed In Black

My yearly reprinted column about 9/11.

A Day Trimmed In Black

My maternal grandmother was born on September 11, 1897, so while growing up that was the important fact to me about that date. After she died in October 1991, I sent flowers to my mother on what would have been my grandmother’s birthday the following year. After 2001, however, I unfortunately had a different reason to remember the 11th of September.

As the fourteenth year comes marking that tragic time, all of us who are American citizens, (and many who aren’t) remember where we were when the events unfolded. It was a difficult day for all of us. Personally, for several hours that day, fear camped out beside me on the sofa because my husband had been in New York and was flying out that morning.

When a friend called me about 9:30 to tell me to turn on the news, I sat there in shock, and all that was being said at the time was that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. What plane? From where? No one knew. I quickly called my husband’s assistant and asked her what time John’s flight was supposed to leave New York and she told me that it had just left and that some of the men in the group who had been scheduled for an upcoming flight had told her that they were just informed that there would be no more planes out. Knowing that I could not get a hold of John while he was in flight, I was very afraid that the plane was his which had hit the building and then when it came out that the flight was from Boston, I had a such sense of relief which almost made me feel guilty.

John had been in the Financial District, right in the area of the World Trade Center, for a business meeting all day on Monday, September 10th, with several other businessmen from Charleston. He told me later that when his plane took off, it circled back around to fly over New York City on its way south. They passed the tower from a short distance away, and could see the black smoke billowing out. The pilot spoke to the passengers and told them that a small plane had accidentally flown into the building, but John and several others realized that no small plane would have caused the amount of smoke and flames they saw. There was no other word from the pilots until about a half hour later, when it was announced that the plane would be landing at Norfolk VA because of an emergency. No one on the plane knew what had happened until they came into the airport terminal.

He called me right away, knowing I’d be very concerned about his whereabouts. I don’t think I was ever so relived to hear his voice! He sounded somewhat in shock, and there was so much confusion and noise in the terminal I could hardly hear him. He said that the pilot had told them they were the last plane out of the New York airport. We also realized later that the second plane to hit the towers had been in the same air space his plane was in, several miles behind. That gave us both chills.

His group was trying to find a rental car for the trip home, while the other part of the traveling contingency was now stuck in New York and would not arrive home for several more days. About midday, John’s group finally found a minivan and started the long drive home. Traffic on I-95 was almost bumper to bumper the entire way, and they spent the trip listening to the radio and getting calls from their family members with updates as the day progressed. When I finally heard the van pull up about 10 pm, I rushed out the door and threw my arms around him. Even though I knew he was all right, watching the news programs all day made his absence much more acute and being with him was the only thing I really wanted!

On September 11, there will be many speeches and events marking the decade since this tragedy happened. We will remember and pray for those families whose lives were directly impacted by the fall of the Towers. Life in this world has no certainty, but life in the next does and that understanding gives us the grace to go forward each day. Love the people in your life and let them know it with hugs and smiles. And let them love you and tell you how important you are to them!

The Tribute in Light on September 11, 2014, on the thirteenth anniversary of the attacks, seen from Bayonne, New Jersey. The tallest building in the picture is the new One World Trade Center.

Enjoy your life one day at a time!

Black Hawk Waltz

I was thinking of my grandmother Alice a lot recently and thought I would reprint a blog about her which I wrote a few years back. She was 94 when she passed on in 1991.

Black Hawk Waltz

My maternal grandmother was born in the tiny Pennsylvania village of Upton in 1897. She was one of six children and her father was the village blacksmith. As my grandmother grew up, she became very adept on the piano and would often play at the parties her contemporaries gave. Allie, as she was called, would be invited to all the parties because she could play almost anything and at that time, get-togethers in the parlors of homes were the main social events of farming communities and towns. Music was being written just for those social events, and Allie would learn them all with ease. She was so talented on the piano that she was encouraged by others to apply to Julliard, and assured of a scholarship she began to make exciting plans. But this all came to a halt when her father William put his foot down about this “fool nonsense”. Girls belonged at home, and not away at a school, especially one that only taught nothing better than music! No matter how much my grandmother wanted to go, there was no persuading him.

*Springer, Alice (Seville) 1

Grandmother was about 19 when she had this portrait made, and I have it hanging in my home in the original bubbled glass.  My mother told me how disappointed my grandmother was and that she continued to play at parties and in church, but it was like the fire had gone out inside of her, and for a long time she was very angry with William, (which had some bearing on another decision she made – but that’s another story).

As a child, I remember when visiting my grandmother’s house, she would often play if we asked her to. She had some favorites among the hymns and a few pieces of secular music but we never let her get up from the piano stool without playing Black Hawk Waltz at least once. I am not sure exactly why we were so taken with that piece, perhaps it was the sweeping chords and how my grandmother played it. It must have had some other memories in it for her, because when she played it, she put emotion in her fingers and it came out in the music.

Years later, our daughter began to take piano lessons and she inherited her grandmother’s gift, because her fingers could dance over the keys and her sensitivity shone through music. I often wondered what my grandmother would have thought about her great grandchild’s playing. Allie had died in 1991 when our daughter was only 8 years old. I thought too of our favorite childhood song and wished I could find that music. But songs popular in the early 1900’s were not easily found at that time. There was no Google and there was barely an Internet. So if you could not find something in the library, you just had to keep looking elsewhere.

Our daughter and I often traveled with my husband when he had a business trip and when we could we would visit with friends who had moved out of state. One such trip took us to Boston, and we drove down to spend a few days with family friends who were living in Newport RI. Carolyn and I had decided to spend a day antiquing and so early one morning, we started our trip through several small towns and it was great fun. In the afternoon, we came to a large two story building where many antique dealers had booths on both floors. We agreed that this would be the last stop of the day, and after carefully culling out some real deals downstairs, I debated about whether or not I had the energy to go upstairs and poke through all the offerings. I finally decided to go on up, thinking that I would at least give everything a once over glance.

At the top of the stairs, slightly to the right, I could see the second booth was small and crammed with music related paraphernalia. There were old record albums, hymnbooks, and even a couple of small instruments. But more than anything else there were boxes and boxes overflowing with sheet music and song books. I wondered once again if I could find my grandmother’s song in this pile and sat down on the floor and began sorting through the dusty boxes. After almost 30 minutes, I came across a small book of music entitled “Parlour Songs” and opened it to see the index and there it was on page 8 – Black Hawk Waltz! Suddenly I could hear my grandmother playing it once again and sat there with tears on my cheeks, which is how my friend found me several minutes later.

When we returned to Charleston, I asked our 10 year old daughter if she could try to learn this piece, and play it for my parents when they came down for a visit. It was a stretch for her small hands to play all the chords, but she gamely practised it and she played it well. When my parents arrived a few weeks later, we told them we had a surprise for them, sat them down in the living room and Tabitha went in to the dining room to play. The look on my mother’s face was priceless and after the surprise sunk in, she listened to the remainder of the music with a big smile, and a few tears. Black Hawk Waltz is not know as a great piece of music, but to our family it is a treasure piece and will always bring back many fond memories.

Here’s a video I found on Youtube of someone playing Black Hawk Waltz:

Enjoy your life one day at a time!

What is a Zoopraxiscope and Why Should I Care?

Often in the mornings, my husband and I spend a period of time together chatting about whatever thoughts have come to mind or looking at funny pictures on Bored Panda or a video someone has posted on Facebook. It’s about nothing and everything, and we just enjoy having that time before plunging into the day’s schedule. This morning, one image led to another and we found ourselves discussing the artist Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault. One of his most famous paintings is The Derby At Epsom (1821)

The Derby At Epsom by Géricault

I was studying the painting and I told my husband that before photography, no one really knew how horse’s legs looked while they were running, hence their unnatural appearance in art. In fact, I said, I remember reading about someone who did a series of work to show that horses did not stretch out all four legs while in full gallop. Neither one of us could remember who it was. John thought perhaps it was someone now obscured by history. I thought surely I could find out.

So, turning to my old friend Google, I began searching, trying one search phrase after another. Nothing. Finally I put in “history of how artist painted horses” and found a Wikipedia page, which in turn led me to Edward James Muggeridge , who later changed his name to Eadweard Muybridge.

(By no means obscure), “he was an English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion, and early work in motion-picture projection.”  Today, Muybridge is known for his pioneering work on animal locomotion in 1877 and 1878, which used multiple cameras to capture motion in stop-motion photographs, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the flexible perforated film strip used in cinematography.” (Quote from Wikipedia)

He was asked to help settle a bet about whether all feet were off the ground when a horse was trotting or in full gallop. He rose to the challenge by setting up a series of cameras to shoot in sequence as a horse ran.The_Horse_in_Motion

“(He) wanted a study of the horse at a gallop ……  He placed numerous large glass-plate cameras in a line along the edge of the track; the shutter of each was triggered by a thread as the horse passed ….. The path was lined with cloth sheets to reflect as much light as possible. He copied the images in the form of silhouettes onto a disc to be viewed in a machine he had invented, which he called a zoopraxiscope. This device was later regarded as an early movie projector, and the process as an intermediate stage toward motion pictures or cinematography.

The study is called Sallie Gardner at a Gallop or The Horse in Motion; it shows images of the horse with all feet off the ground. This did not take place when the horse’s legs were extended to the front and back, as imagined by contemporary illustrators, but when its legs were collected beneath its body as it switched from “pulling” with the front legs to “pushing” with the back legs.” (Quote from Wikipedia)

The Horse in Motion by Muybridge

So, to sum up, the invention of the Zoopraxiscope not only provided the entry into the beginning of the movie industry, but it gave subsequent horse painters the understanding they needed to accurately portray their subjects. I think it is fascinating how science can influence art.

And I love the ability to have so much research right at my finger tips!

Enjoy your life one day at a time!

Look For The Story

Years ago when I used to own an antiques business, I very often came across old cabinet photos, tintypes, old albums and loose photos. My first response often was how sad that no one found them important enough to keep in their family. I have a great many in my resource boxes and pull them out from time to time, to study the faces and wonder who they are.

So often, these old photos tell a story, if you are careful and patient enough to look. I just finished a creative photo collage using one which evoked a strong response in me.

Black woman & child vintage

Look at them. The mother, probably a former slave in her younger life, now exudes a wariness combined with confidence and peace. Her child is also cautious as well and feels safe in her mother’s lap. The mother’s dress is made from a rich full fabric and the child in her high button boots and tights, also speaks of a comfortable life. I would love to know how the mother arrived to this time in her life, her hair styled and sitting at ease before a photographer, proud of who she is.

Reflecting on these thoughts and observations, I began to weave a story for them, using materials I had in my files on my computer. Trying to evoke a feeling of the past, and what she passed to her child had me considering carefully which images would speak the best. I used several layers of textures, and images, combined to instantly draw in the viewer and involve them in what this woman had to say. Her story takes time to tell, so it took me time to create it. When I finished, I was very pleased with the result and hoped that had she been able to see it, she would be pleased as well.

Her Memories Are Written 2

Enjoy your life one day at a time!

Are you a Purist?


Ansel Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) is an American icon, one of the first to paint poetry in black and white photos. He is also the one many “purist” photographers point to when discussing their dislike of today’s use of digital work in creating artistic photography. But if one spends time studying Adams life, it becomes harder to use him as a purist role model.

Adams pioneered the use of light as a main influence in his photographs, and experimented with all the technical equipment which was available to use during his day. He started with a small, poorly equipped darkroom in his parent’s basement, but his wife’s family, who had a business publishing photography, was one of the first to publish his prints and later, the business was passed on to him. He took full advantage of the darkroom, experimenting and producing much of the work which has made him well known to most Americans, and also pushed him onto the international arena.

It is easy to take a photograph, but it is harder to make a masterpiece in photography than in any other art medium. (Adams, Ansel (1985). Ansel Adams, an Autobiography. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-8212-1596-5.)

His legacy includes helping to elevate photography to an art comparable with painting and music, and equally capable of expressing emotion and beauty. (see above source) Adams used a variety of lenses to get different effects, but eventually rejected pictorialism for a more realistic approach which relied more heavily on sharp focus, heightened contrast, precise exposure, and darkroom craftsmanship. (Alinder, Mary (1996). Ansel Adams: A Biography. New York: Henry Holt and Company). In other words, he did in the darkroom what DSLR photographers can now do in the camera, as well as with computer programs such as Photoshop and Topaz.

The initial publication of Adam’s Moonrise was in U.S. Camera 1943 annual, after being selected by the “photo judge” for U.S. CameraEdward Steichen.[52] This gave Moonrise an audience before its first formal exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1944. Over nearly 40 years, Adams re-interpreted the image, his most popular by far, using the latest darkroom equipment at his disposal, making over 1,300 unique prints, most in 16″ by 20″ format. (“5 prints of “Moonrise”, 1941–1975″. Andrew Smith Gallery.)

To an artistic photographer, then, Ansel Adams now becomes a role model. I started out many years ago learning rudimentary darkroom skills and now I use the techniques afforded me by today’s technology. It’s very hard for some people to be fluid enough to accept new ways of doing things, even to simply acknowledge that the new ways are an authentic tool. It’s acceptable that many photographers like to continue in what they know and do best, and perhaps they do not wish to try it a different way. That is fine, each has their choice. But those who then go on to say that their choice is the only legitimate one has effectively portrayed themselves as lost to the past, and are insulting to those who choose to use a new way of expressing the poetic beauty from inside their spirit.

Enjoy your life one day at a time!

Petals And Wings

At one spot along side our driveway is an area we fondly refer to as “the meadow”. Our driveway is about three or four times longer than the average driveway and our small meadow is open to more sunshine, with wooded areas in the back and on the left. We noticed that wildflowers grew there, and so decided not to mow it. In early spring there are wild daisies, in June the orange Butterfly Weed puts on a show and the Sensitive Briar blooms overlap those of the Butterfly Weed. We just noticed the morning glories starting to bloom as they trail over the ground. These are quite beautiful, white with purple markings. The Butterfly Weed is starting to die back, and we also noticed that they are spreading. Off to the left, through a few scattered trees, is an old riding path, starting to grow over now that there are no horses trodding upon it. I am taking photographs of the changing face of our meadow and will be uploading different artistic shots of them over the next few weeks. Since we are on a hillside, and this is an open area, I have to pick days without much of a breeze, and set up before the sun is too bright. It’s lovely to be up there, even when it is hot.

We have several feeders and a bird bath with a small dripping fountain, and so we attract a large number of birds. There are several bird houses scattered around, and one hosts Bluebirds every year, usually having at least two clutches and some years, three. On the nesting platform on the front porch there is a Carolina Wren pair making their second home, with two eggs laid so far; they usually have a clutch of four to five eggs. Carolina Wrens have two to three clutches a year and build a new nest each time. The Bluebirds have fledged one clutch, and in another bird box a Titmouse raised a family of five. We see nests of House Finches in shrubbery and the Cardinals are nesting in a nearby thicket across the road. Although the beautiful red Summer Tanager does not feed at the bird feeders, it comes to the bird bath quite often to splash about in the water. Having a bird bath has been helpful in drawing larger numbers of birds because keeping their feathers clean and fluffed makes them healthier and less likely to have mite problems. Small white pebbles rest in the bottom of the bird bath and when a larger bird such as a Robin is cleaning its feathers, his activity tosses some of the pebbles out to the ground! We also have a couple of larger rocks we found in our yard in there for birds to stand on. Somedays we will see birds lined up around the rim, waiting their turn to take a bath, very common with the Finches!

We love living out in the country. Sometimes at night when I have trouble going to sleep, I will sit out on the front porch and listen to night sounds. This year we have had an abundance of fireflies and their little blinking lights seem much brighter than they have in the past. It’s like watching fairy lights twinkling throughout our front yard and up into the trees. We can even see them clearly in our neighbor’s horse pasture across the road. My husband told me yesterday that after he had gotten up that morning and walked into the darkened kitchen, he noticed a tiny glowing speck on the floor. Somehow a firefly had snuck into our house, and even though it was barely alive its bioluminescent glow still shone brightly, like a tiny speck of gold.

Of course, there are drawbacks here as there are in any place, but there is so much more that is positive, it hardly is worth the time to even mention anything negative. Next time I write about our place in the county, I’ll share about some of the animal experiences we have had.

Enjoy your life one day at a time!

Sensitive Briar Flowers Finale
Sensitive Briar Flowers

Muse At A Dead End

What a week. On Monday, I worked on a piece of creative altered photography and was pleased with the outcome. (I’ll post the photo at the bottom). The rest of the week, the creative process seemed to take a sharp left turn and stuttered to a stop at a dead end street. One project I was working on, I deleted twice accidentally right as I approached the end. Another, it seemed that I could not find the colors I wanted, to highlight the image. Thought processes just jerked to a stop, or suddenly faded. When I did finish something, it simply did not look right. It did not say to me, “AHA! You’ve got it”. Where was my muse?

Today I began to think about the word muse – just why did that word appear in so many statements concerning art or writing or anything that involved a creative process? Why do people say they lost their muse or that their muse spoke to them? I knew vaguely, but some research was in order.

As Greek and Roman society progressed, they began to create gods for just about every aspect of their lives. Their gods were capricious and not always trustworthy. It’s interesting to me that they had to have something concrete to exemplify the creative process, coming up with nine different entities to explain the inspirations that men have.

Not only are the Muses explicitly used in modern English to refer to an artistic inspiration, as when one cites one’s own artistic muse, but they also are implicit in words and phrases such as “amuse”, “museum” (Latinised from mouseion—a place where the muses were worshipped), “music”, and “musing upon”. (Wikipedia)

Do I really believe that a shadowing being is hovering over me, giving me inspiration? Granted, some people confer the muse title onto a loved one, feeling inspired while in their presence, or even in their thoughts, and are moved to create art, poetry, songs, even plays or novels. I know that the word muse has become common in the lexicon of today’s artists. I’ve seen blogs with the title along the lines of “What’s your muse?” And I freely admit that certain circumstances lean more to inspiration than others, but these are all invisible normal feelings and observations for a creative person. They were there before the Romans and Greeks decided that it was necessary to explain men’s emotions and inspirations, and so gave each a face and name to deify them. I wonder of the cave artists of long ago thought it necessary to describe or explain their inspirations.

But today, rather than referring to a false deity, it has become a word that gathers all the meaning and inspiration, pain and sorrow, joy and celebration, that encompasses life. And yes, sometimes, we misplace that sense, and we struggle.

I think, then, that this very struggle can be a “muse”, if we are sincerely trying to progress as an artist.  No matter the venue, we will have times of dryness and dead ends. But these add to our growth, stretching us and causing us to look again at what we are doing, to search even harder, to take a deep breath and even step away for a while. If it were easy, would great art be great? Whether the finished piece is simple or profound, the artist’s struggle and victory will be involved and though we many not see it, we will sense it subconsciously. To get there, we will go down dead ends and start again. Rejoice when you struggle – you are moving forward!

And as far as my own “muse”, I look to the original Creator. In His creation, I find the answers to my own artistic struggles: the colors, the compositions, the amazement. Sometimes it takes me awhile to have the eyes to see, but that is part of my growth as well!

Enjoy your life one day at a time!

Dreamy Azaleas

Out With The Old And ….. Well, Just Out With It.

I’ve mentioned previously that I have a tiny studio, and I’ve also mentioned that sometimes it’s crowded and I trip over stuff on the floor. That’s not good for a number of reasons, among them, just simple common sense. I began recently just forcing myself to put my foot down and move extraneous things out for good. The problem with deciding what is extraneous is that I could always tell myself that I may use this … sometime …. for another art form …. or perhaps discover a new way …..   Really now! I think that’s enough shilly shalling  – get serious!

Just open the storage closet door. Look inside – why is that box of stuff in here? I’m storing it for what? Pick it up and take a long look into the contents, shove them around a little bit, bite your lip and then set it on the floor. Do it again with something else. Take a deep breath, and keep going.

That was me yesterday morning. The tiny studio room has a tiny storage closet. We all know the problem with spaces with doors – once the door is shut, then it is out of sight, out of mind. I actually held things and asked myself if I was honestly going do some strange art form I read about once in a magazine? No. Gone.

As I proceeded into a tall storage unit with lots of drawers, I found things related to sewing. My sewing machine is in the spare bedroom. And so these things were in my studio …. why? No good answer for that, so a sewing related pile began. And grew. Now I had empty drawers! I had encaustic supplies stacked on my shelves which fit in the drawers! Hey, it was exciting to me!

A space was cleared from the floor. Now the printer was accessible without leaning dangerously over to the left to add paper. That’s progress! I was beginning to tire, so I took a break to check my computer, and rest. Then I piled all of the sewing things into a large container, moved it to the head of the stairs to take down. I have a habit of making piles of things, with good intentions, then they stay in the same place for an indefinite amount of time. I’ve learned to move them where they are in my way of going downstairs, so I’m forced to do something about it. OK, I’m confessing here, not proud of it, but if I help another poor soul like me, then my embarrassment is worth it!

My next step was going through all of the old books I have collected, mostly to tear apart and use the pages for collage, or altering the books. I did alter one book once. But it hasn’t been something I have a strong urge to do again, and besides space was needed, so determination once again stiffened my backbone and I sorted. Soon, I had a stack of books to either resell or donate. Did you know that you can resell books on Not all of them will be worth selling, but I have sold several books for good hard cash and freed up space. Check it out if you have books you want to get rid of, but set yourself a bottom limit – if there are a large number of people selling the same book, your net gain may be zero after the shipping. It’s not worth it to me to set a price below a certain amount.

And so there I was, proud to have pushed on, trash bag full, boxes on top of steps, supplies tucked on drawers. Am I through? By no means! That’s one reason I’m blogging about it – people may ask how it’s going or what else I found, who knows – people can be curious of the the most mundane things! So I am now committed publicly to continue this journey. Ask away!

Enjoy your life one day at a time!

You Can't See Me copy copy
My cat, thinking it’s hiding from the dog.