The Bigger Picture

I’ve been dealing with some heavy family issues and haven’t bought a piece of milk glass or a used book in the past two weeks. I’m surviving on coffee and gluten-free cereals.

My life is changing and I’m working on a more eloquent way of saying; my boyfriend’s daughter’s mother is dying. She has had cancer for most of Little Lady’s life. I’ve been with The Man for most of LL’s life. We are in the last weeks of LL’s mom’s life and I’ve stepped into a full time Mom role.

The entire focus of my life is my family right now. I am writing longhand about the experiences we’re going through, and I want to share them with you, but not today.

Keep The Man and Little Lady in your thoughts in the next couple of weeks. I’m going to continue writing and continue taking care of my people. I’ll be around.

Five Fact Friday

Five Facts About Me on a Friday

1) I have read Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth an uncountable number of times.

I first read it in fourth grade and I pick it up about once a year since then. I hope one day to be able to teach it as a unit in a classroom. *Random Idea* Develop it as a unit for a classroom.

2) I hate mushrooms.

The taste of dirt and fungus is just not appealing to me; in anything. The way that my teeth feel all chalky and squeaky afterward is also a major mushroom malfunction.

3) I educate myself a lot before I start doing something new.

Learning about milk glass came before I even started searching for the stuff. I had seen it in antiques stores before, and I had heard it could be valuable, but before I purchased my first piece, I read extensively about how to do it right. I’m perpetually worried I’ll make a “mistake” when I try something new.

4) I have been chronically ill since my early elementary school years.

I started suffering from migraines before I turned five. By 12 I knew I had depression and anxiety. In high school the ovarian cysts and eating disorders turned up. Post-graduate time taught me about PTSD and Ankylosing spondylitis and scoliosis. In the recent years, we’ve discovered uterine fibroids and a weird chronic pain that has

art artistic bright color
Photo by Pixabay on

currently been undiagnosed. My invisible illnesses are just part of who I am.

5) I love to color.

Even before “adult coloring books” were a fad, I was coloring. I have coloring books from my Grams’ house that I colored in the early 80s. I have coloring books from my teenage and college years. I have a small hoard (unofficial collection?) of coloring books from this fad’s resurfacing. I own multiple sets of Sharpie’s, Bic markers, and Crayola crayons. I recently invested in a set of Prismacolor Premier colored pencils and I am in love with them. I find coloring intensively meditative and calming. I love the way that colors can combine and change a mood. I enjoy the precise need to stay in the lines.


What can you tell me about you?

How is it not even 11am?

One of the problems I struggle with when I’m not working outside of the house is that by 11am, I’m bored. I’ve cleaned the house, I’ve done the dishes, I’ve slayed a load of laundry, I’ve tidied and made beds and run the dryer; and it’s 10:41am.

It sounds like something I should enjoy; not having anything to do, but it’s not me. I need something to do. I’ve started working out in order to use some of my “free” time, but I get my half-hour of exercise done by 9:30am, and I’m still bored.

I’m working on a novel, but you can only push yourself to write so many words in a day. I can write jibberish, or blog all afternoon, but it’s not really productive to just blather on; I don’t think.

I could learn something, take a class online (there are plenty of free online classes, btw), exercise more, create something crafty, or wash the windows … but none of those things actually sound fun.

What sounds fun? Laying on a very warm but breezy beach with a book and a fruity (non-alcoholic) drink. I could probably find a breezy (but not warm) beach within 45 minutes of driving (living in Silicon Valley is so nice) but meh.

Boredom is frustrating, and it’s not even 11am.

New Obsession

In the very early 2000s, my mom suggested I use milk glass bud vases in my first wedding’s decor. I laughed at her old fashion suggestion and I forgot about her ridiculous antiques decor idea until a few weeks back.

A long-time friend of mine posted her Great Depression era milk glass cake stand collection on Instagram, and I remembered what my mom said. I started reading. I spent a week reading every blog post, antiques mall article, and Pinterest post about milk glass collections.

Then I started searching for my own pieces.  fentonmilkglassruffletophobnailI had previously visited a (somewhat overpriced) antiques store searching just for pretty stuff. I stumbled across a well-priced Fenton Hobnail milk glass fluted edge vase. It’s about four-inches tall and I’m in love with the fluting, the precise little bumps (hobs? hobnails?).  Once I clean her up, she’s going to live as a makeup brush organizer in my bathroom.

I haven’t stopped looking for fun pieces since this, and I’ve amassed a quick double-digit number collection already. I read an interesting post recommending “if you like it, it fits in your collection,” and am following that mindset as I scour local Goodwills. (Yesterday I found 10 pieces of collectible glass for less than $40.)

Vintage Westmoreland Milk Glass Creamer and Sugar Bowl

Piece number two? was a pair of pieces. A set of Westmoreland milk glass creamer and sugar jar WITH its lid. I overpaid for it, because all three pieces were perfect, and I think it’s a beautifully created little set.

Ever seen this stuff? Have any of your grandmas given you dusty old pieces you want to mail me? Hah!

As I go forward, I might try to keep sharing pieces. Obsessions often become intense collecting events for me. Let’s see where this goes!

Is this thing on?

Daddy’s tires on the white truck growled in the dirt as we neared the top of the steep driveway. Looking over him, I could see there were horses at the neighbors’ house. Maybe I could get a horse! I excitedly thought.

pexels-photo-221573.jpegIt was silenced by a voice I was learning wasn’t quite my own; they’ll never buy you a horse.

I didn’t voice either opinion aloud in the white truck; I knew the condescending voice was right; they’d never buy me a horse. We were poor; I could see it in the soles of Daddy’s shoes when we played checkers on the floor. Even if we weren’t poor, I don’t think my parents would ever buy me a horse, anyway. It wasn’t that my parents didn’t like me, they just didn’t know what to do with me.


and we’ll see what happens

Two more

pexels-photo-373465.jpegFor the past four Saturdays, my parents had dragged me to the next city over to look at new houses. I didn’t much care for the realtors we were instructed to follow each weekend; they always felt swarthy and as though they saw people as dollar signs and property, not families and homes. I avoided the cutesy “What’s your name?” and “How old are you little miss?” questions by sticking my nose in a book and keeping it there. Unless I was specifically told “leave it in the car,” my book du jour traveled with me.

Lately I had been reading more chapter books, adventure novels where the girls were heroes and the boys needed saving. I read novels of large families, all the siblings constantly fighting over what little there was, but always learning a lesson in love, too. I read books that were too grown-up for a nine-year-old, meeting Stephen King’s Annie Wilkes and her sledgehammer before I was even in “double-digits.” My parents didn’t really care what I read, I was reading. It also meant I wasn’t talking to them; I seemed to bother them with my emphatic questions and observant musings.


Any observant musings from you?

Trying something new …

pexels-photo-999282.jpegMa didn’t want to live in a green house. She said it reminded her of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and that was weird. Daddy promised her we’d paint it “straight away” multiple times as we pulled away from what he hoped was our new home. I wasn’t impressed by the green house either, but I was impressed by the acres of land, the fields of blackberry brambles, and the creek that ran diagonally through the parcel. I wanted to explore the dog run on the north side of the property, and climb into the tree fort in the south side’s lone cottonwood tree. I’d have my own room with built-in bookshelves if my parents picked this house.

At nine years old, moving was starting to become a regular thing for me. My triangle-family had moved from apartment to apartment renting as we went. Ma got used to dealing with the landlords complaining about clogged toilets and moldy kitchen faucets and Daddy normally did extra yard work to lower our rent. I used the dusty phone book that was invariably left in a back closet to find the nearest public library. I’d cross reference the address in the white pages with the maps on the blue pages, hoping with all my being that the distance between the new place and the library was walkable. It had yet to be.

Home Sweet Home

I absolutely love to travel. I don’t just enjoy the vacationing part of travel, but I enjoy the adventure of getting to my destination.dogears

Driving the 1 and the 101 north from California into Oregon provided me with a lot of thinking-time, and a lot of beautiful sights. I stopped almost every hour (either for a potty or photography break) and I enjoyed the simplicity of traveling solo. I got to choose the route, the music, the volume of the music, and where I stopped. It was perfect travel for me.

Stephen King’s End of Watch set the tone for my drive north, and I finished the book before I made it to my final destination. I previously tore through Mr. Mercedes (another King, book) and loved the story. End of Watch is not quite a sequel, but it’s more of the story of Mr. Mercedes. If you like Stephen King’s newer materials, this book is definitely a pleasure to read or listen to.

What are you currently reading?

Majestic Universe


California Redwoods and Giant Sequoias

I’m still traveling. I have the time to write, but I also don’t want to sit on my laptop all day while there are beautiful sights to see around me.

Today is a stay-near-home day (my parents’ home) and do a few little “buy souvenir” stops. Tomorrow I leave for Redding, California. I’ll make a ton of stops as I drive and take a ton more photographs!

Once I leave Redding I’m headed to the Placer County Gold Rush Museum. It’s not fully operational just yet (they moved it), but there is a first floor I can explore. The nerd in me wants to see whatever I can!

What are you up to this weekend?