Browsing Archives for General Lunacy

Dear Martha,

Hello. Wow! Thanks so much for personally picking me to be in your contest! That really means the world to me. I have been a big fan of yours for a long time.  Well… okay… I used to be a big fan of yours. Back when I was younger and had a LOT more energy.  Back when I had crazy ideas about making curtains for the laundry room  with four hundred pleats per square inch and hem stitching my own handmade leather crafted photo albums with silk thread imported from the barrier reef and decorating my homemade sugar cookies with exact replications of all the oil paintings in the Louvre using only your very own very special royal icing recipe.  Then suddenly… out of nowhere… things changed.

I had a baby… and another baby… and then I had two more… and then I woke up one day on a sheet drenched with leaking milk from one breast while the other breast felt like it was about to explode.  I stumbled to the baby’s crib and clamped that squalling infant on to my engorged boob so that he could guzzle away my misery and then I slopped some cereal into a chipped bowl and ate it with a plastic spoon while pouring a pile of cheerios and raisins onto a paper towel on the  floor for my diaper clad toddler to eat … 
And that’s when I decided to cancel my subscription to Martha Stewart Living.  

But I did buy a LOT of your paint.  And I used to buy a bunch of your stuff at K-Mart until well… I am not sure what is going on with K-Mart anymore, but somehow, it just got too depressing to go there.  How long can a store have 200% off everything and still keep the doors open?
I do still buy the garden issue of your magazine.  Not for myself…  I buy it for the Country Doctor.  He loves to look at pictures of trees and he does not mind occasionally being sidetracked by pictures of shrubs, flowers, retaining walls, hoity toity patios, Grecian urns, pebbled pathways, and stunning vistas overlooking a pool which overlooks a mountain, which overlooks a dessert, which overlooks the ocean, which overlooks the other ocean.
So yeah, I think it is safe to say that you and I, Martha (can I call you Martha?)  that we have a lot in common.  Did you know that my mom’s name is Martha?  If I had ever had a little girl, I might have named her Martha.  I love girl’s names that are kind of stern and frumpy and old fashioned like… Martha.  Not that you are stern and old fashioned and… frumpy.  It is just that you are kind of… well… okay maybe a little stern.  Or at least you are perceived as stern.  I am sure that in real life you are as sweet as a baby kitty cat.
Moving on!  
This is supposed to be about my dreams.  Ah yes, my dreams.  My first dream was to be a princess… followed rapidly by ballerina… then by a figure skater… then by an  Olympic gymnast… back to princess… to ballerina… to figure skater… to Olympic gymnast…  
Then I wanted to be the next Carolyn Keene – you know the lady who writes the Nancy Drew books?  I wanted to write Nancy Drew books.  Then I decided that I wanted to be Nancy Drew. Then as I grew older and wiser I decided that I just wanted to live in Nancy Drew’s fabulous colonial mansion in Riverside, with her cook Hannah, her rich accommodating lawyer-dad Carson and her cute college boyfriend Ned.  
Then I decided to be a folk rock star.  
Ah yes, the Folk Rock Star era of my life.  That was an interesting time…  But I think it would probably be better if we just glazed over it briefly. 
 Okay… done.  
Then I decided to build a house.
The Country Doctor was not very excited about building a house.  Not very excited at all.    He basically became catatonic whenever I brought up the idea of building a house.  I found that the only way to get him out of this catatonic state, was to cry, lament, cover my body in sackcloth and ashes, pull the suitcase out of the closet and start throwing clothes in it, slam doors, rant, rave, refuse to speak to him repeat… repeat… repeat….  After about six consecutive days of this emotional storming around he might slowly blink one eyelid in acknowledgement of my pain.
It was a slow process.
Eventually we did build a house.  And that is one dream that really came true.  And as much as I love our home, I have discovered that it does not make me a complete, total, full, satisfied, human being.  In fact, it makes me feel kind of empty sometimes because I miss having the dream of building a house.  I miss the planning and the deciding, and the sketching out of the rooms on paper, and the ability to erase the location of the rooms and move them around with only a bit of india rubber and some pencil lead.  It is much harder to move the rooms around now.   
So I need a new dream.  I have been mulling a few over, but all in all, I think that life is not really about fulfilling your dreams, it is about having dreams.  People really need them.  You know, it is what keeps us going.  Facing one more day.   Getting out of bed one more time. Schlepping through the day again.  Opening one more box of macaroni and cheese.  We do all this because of our dreams. 
Lately my dreams are much simpler.  I have a dream of keeping my entire house clean for more than thirty seconds at a time.  I have a dream of my children actually putting away their own laundry.  I have a dream of wallpapering the hall.  I have a dream of planting an oak leaf hydrangea.  I have a dream of soaking up every last second of my boys’ childhoods as they seem to be skyrocketing through them.  I have a dream of someday actually hanging up all the pictures that are leaning against the walls.  And I have a dream of finding a truly magical family vacation spot.  
So those are my dreams Martha. At least a few of them.  I also wanted to let you know that the whole “prison thing” for lying about cheating about stealing is well… I don’t want to say okay with me… but I don’t hold it against you either.  We all make mistakes sometimes.  Once when I was six, I stole a pack of Chiclets from the grocery store.  My sister told on me.  My mom drug my petrified carcass back into the store and made me apologize to the store manager.  It was very embarrassing.  Then a few weeks later I stole a butterscotch disc from the Brach’s display at the grocery store.  Once again, my sister told on me and my mom again drug my petrified carcass to the manager to make me apologize.  He was not so smiley and kind the second time.  That was the end of my career as a thief.  We all have to learn that it is wrong to steal.  It just took you a little longer that is all.  
Thanks again for asking me to enter your contest.  I hope I win!
“The Country Doctor’s Wife”

Dreamers into Doers is an annual program honoring women who have turned their favorite hobby into a business or nonprofit organization.

“I was so touched and inspired by the women we honored with last year’s Dreamers into Doers Awards program,” says Martha Stewart. “I’m thrilled to once again be celebrating the accomplishments of women who have worked hard to realize a dream, and I look forward to learning about all the wonderful ways in which this year’s entrants have turned their passion into a reality.”

The Library Arrives

March 12th, 2008

Our library has arrived.

I was at first, somewhat mystified.

Evidently, I overlooked the small box at the end of the order form that said…complete library.

Though everything seems to be in very good order, with plenty of nooks and whatnots, and bins and cubbies, and higglyjoints and sputknacks…it seems that it did not have any…


I sprang into action!

Searching for the perfect book, the exact right one, to bless this humble library. The perfect book to first grace the shelves. To set the tone. To determine the character of this space for all time memorial!

I knew exactly where to go. A book of immense wisdom…unerring moral fiber. A book that nurtured me as I grew and taught me right from wrong. A book… actually many books…assembled into a flawless, seamless, whole. Where I still look for guidance and support and courage and fortitude. And I am never disappointed.

Nancy Drew

Of course.

This is my favorite cover.

Now that I have the sacred texts in place, I can move onto the lesser titles.

Secret Songs Chapter Two

February 28th, 2008

Two years ago, I began a long and winding process of making a new record. I recorded the CD in Kansas City with dear friend and master musician, Steve Phillips, whose Celtic Rock band The Elders totally rocks the house!

Before Steve was the scorching lead guitar player for The Elders, he was the scorching lead guitar player for The Rainmakers. Anyone remember that band? They had a few hits back in the late 80′s. Anyone remember the 80′s? It was a strange time period in US history known mostly for the height of women’s bangs and the vertically striped shirt dresses with wide cinch belts worn by men and women alike. Oh…and stirrup pants.

I had to record this CD with Steve, because not only is he a scorching guitar player, he also plays just about every other instrument known to man. This allowed me the flexibility of having the sound of a band on my record without all the troublesome drugs, alcohol and unwashed greasy hair of an actual band. Although, Steve and I did occasionally partake of the illicit narcotic known as almond croissant from Napoleon’s Bakery, we did not inhale. Okay, I inhaled, but Steve did not.

Over the course of about nine months, I drove to K.C. every two weeks and worked on the new CD. It was so fun and such a wonderful break for me to get away and do something musical. I was lucky enough to talk a few old songwriting buddies to sing and/or play on the record as well. Forrest Whitlow and David Hakan both appear on the new record, as well as a chorus of impromptu writers from the area on the tune “Happy Birthday Me.”

After many deletes and overdubs, and places where Steve carefully pieced together the vocals of Celine Dion on top of my guitar playing so that my vocals could at least sound good in a few spots, we finished the CD. I brought the master recording home and tenderly placed it on a dusty shelf in a dark closet for the ripening process.

And there it sat, waiting for me to get my act together, create a cover and get it duplicated. Except that we had started to build a house. And I was kind of distracted by that project. And then I lost the very necessary element of MOMENTUM. And then I felt stupid that I had put it off for so long. And then I started doubting. And then I got distracted again. And then stupid. And then doubt. And then distracted. Stupid, doubt, distracted, stupid, doubt, distracted. This is basically the pattern for my entire life. In fact – maybe I should change the name of this blog to STUPID… DOUBT… DISTRACTED… But with the record it was a wee bit harder.

First there was Steve, who knew about the record and who wondered if I was ever going to maybe actually finish it. Then there were the other songwriters who were on the record and who thought they at least should get a copy for their trouble. And then there were a few people who I had promised copies of this record to, years ago when I first started thinking about making one. So a few weeks ago I took another crucial step towards the completion of this record.

I contacted a graphic designer named David Gnojek. Mr. Gnojek (Guh Noy Yak) is related to me by marriage two or three times removed. It is like he is married to the daughter of the sister of the Country Doctor making him my “nephew in law”, but since I am far too young to have nephews that could be old enough to be professional graphic designers, something is clearly messed up. ANYWAY – Dave is one of those extremely talented, nice, humble, kind, VEGAN, decent people who for some reason I can’t explain, makes me feel like poking their eyes out. It is one thing to be nice and good and VEGAN. But it is a whole other thing to be nice, good, vegan, AND TALENTED!!! However, if I poked his eyes out he would not have been able to design my CD cover, and I really needed him to do that. You can go visit his design blog here. Live it up now Dave – eyes being poked out soon.

Dave did a beautiful job designing this record. But as with most things that I am involved in, I actually did most of the work. Well – I had all the GOOD ideas. Okay, okay – I sent him a few photos, which he put together and created some really cool fonts and made it look right and somehow captured the spirit of this record without EVEN listening to it! How’s that for magic? How easy will that be to do once you don’t have any eyeballs Dave? Will you be so Mister Magic then Dave? Don’t think so…

So if you are actually still reading this post of giddy insanity, you can go and listen to my new record at CD Baby. MY NEW RECORD!!! WOOHOO!!! MY NEW RECORD!!!

I have a NEW RECORD!!! DID I TELL YOU THAT I HAVE A NEW RECORD!!! HOLY FREAKIN’ FREAK BALLS I HAVE A NEW RECORD!!! It is making me a little giddy and kind of feel like my blood is full of fizzy Seven-Up with maybe a few ounces of gin too.

“Future Folk Star of the Universe”

P.S. For those of you who are interested in the record, but would prefer to download MP3′s, that option will hopefully be available in a few days.  I will be sure to let you know.