Sunday, December 05, 2010

Home sweet home

Oh the weather outside is frightful,

but teh fires iz so deliteful

Cats know that the sole reason you split firewood, vacuum the floor, wash the pillows and build a fire is to appease your bitey overlord.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou My Vision

Ancient Irish hymn, possibly from the 8th Century, tr. by Mary E. Byrne

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best thought, by day or by night, Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

2. Be Thou my Wisdom, Thou my true Word; I ever with Thee, Thou with me, Lord; Thou my great Father, I thy true son; Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

3. Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight, Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight. Thou my soul's shelter, Thou my high tower. Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

4. Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise, Thou mine inheritance, now and always: Thou and Thou only, first in my heart, High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

5. High King of heaven, my victory won, May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'ns Son! Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

 Lol Pretty Purple was sliding away from me the whole time- I should've picked a less slippery chair!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Art aRt arT

Say you're looking for some art, like the kind made of paint and dreams. and animals. Then you should probably go here:

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Five and a half months

What does being 22 weeks pregnant mean?

Today it means trying on all the clothes I own and realizing

I own 12 pairs of jeans/ khakis 

Approximately 4 of them will still pull up over my hips.

Exactly none of them will zip up or button.

I think it's time to go shopping.

Thank heaven for stretch pants, or I'd have to go to the store half nude.

 and thank heavens for Dale Evans

This is the song I find stuck in my head every time I go shopping.

Also, singing cowboys make my day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Secrets of the circus tent

Peter and I don't have many "couple friends"

I suspect it's because we're odd folks on a life track most people have a hard time keeping up with.

We are a couple on wheels (Lord knows I was born with mine) always on the go,

always willing to follow the arrows that point the way to dreams,

where ever they take us,

because, no matter what, everything is held together by faith,

and we always get by.

We do what we have to, and blow kisses to our past as we wave goodbye

again and again

and move on to the next part of our lives

with only each other in tow.


because in a few months our traveling circus will gain a tiny magician.

and until her grand magical appearing act we're hunkering down in a North Georgia town that is positively crawling with relatives, and old friends. 

It's the only place I know where she could get the welcome he deserves. 

Until that day, all I can do is try not to worry, and instead choose to wonder

Will she be blond like his dad or brunette like me?

Will she have big dark eyes, or Peter's gold flecked blues? 

Since I'm always cold and Peter's always hot, will she be juuusst right?

Only a few things can be known for sure-

as sure as the sun rises in the East she'll be born with wheels, always rolling alongside, as we continue this journey Peter and I set out on when we were still kids ourselves. 

She will be pale pale pale.

and finally, and most importantly

She will be insanely ridiculously intensely completely



Below is a repost of one of my favorite posts ever. I don't generally repost, but given the current situation certain things could use reiterating:

Dr and Mrs A

-married 6 7 years

-moved 7 (soon to be 8) 8 times

-survived high school

-survived undergrad

-survived medical school

- said "adios!" to 99% of our earthly possessions twice

-survived fast food jobs, night shift jobs, ultra-demanding overtime-all-the-time jobs and life without jobs

-survived living in a foreign country

-survived trying to restore an old as dirt cottage

-Survived living in a teeeeny tiny Caribbean apartment, and an even tinier one in NYC

- survived 1000 pointless fights

- and 100000 odious puns

- has taken hundreds of walks with our pup

Even though....

-He's science... ...and I'm art

-He's digitally generated compositions and I'm folk

- he's video games and I'm crosswords

-because after almost a decade of hanging out together we still both think the other is cool and fun and interesting

-because we have a strong mutually shared belief system

-because when one of us is all "this sucks and I can't stand it" the other is always "it's going to be ok! We'll be fine without any of our stuff/living a million miles from home/ after we bury the dead cat/ completely broke/ with no privacy. We'll get through it."

-Because we know God won't give us more than we can handle.

- Because at this point we're fairly used to living by the skin of our teeth

Because we're awesome

Saturday, August 28, 2010

One more day up in the canyon.

"I always heard the best delies are in the lower east side, and theres a store that sells nothing but gourmet homemade pickles, too."  

"Sweet! I love homemade pickles. Lets go there for lunch!"

"Nah, I never could find it."

"Why don't you just Google it?"

"Because there is absolutely no way I'm going to Google 'pickle store'."

I think, of all the gazillions of pictures I have, this one sums up Peter and La Sha the best.

So much is going on right now, I don't even know where to begin.

Ironically, right now I have more blog posts than ever, yet am posting at almost my slowest rate ever.

I am a busy and excruciatingly tired lady.

In a couple of weeks there'll probably be a blogsplosion of wordiness.

I've been working on a series of essays that I'm tentatively calling "Things I Swore I'd Never Blog About". Tantalizing, n'est pas?

Also, I've pretty much finished up the Fierce Flora series. Unfortunately, plastic wrap and cardboard is safely secured around all the vines and blossoms, and they probably won't be making their debut for a few weeks.

I've got lots of NYC pictures dragging along too, that I'll get to posting sometime. Though I could be living in Timbuktu by the time I feel caught up.

 Caught up- isn't that a nice thought.  

 Speaking of feelings and not-sureness, I've been ultra-contemplative lately and I can't quiet put my finger on how I feel about NYC. It's a place I simultaneously never want to spend another day in and that I never want to leave. There's a mixture of regret when thinking of it in the rearview and joy in looking ahead. It's a place that has so much more to offer a creative young lady than anywhere else on this planet, and I can't help but feel like I never made the most of it. Surviving takes so much effort that looking up and making the most of the opportunities that may be waiting for you seems like an option best put off till tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Was a big break waiting for me, but I was just too busy, too tired, too frazzled to notice? I'll never know- that's the stinger on the hornet of regret.  

The only thing to do is to look ahead, because I have no doubt that what waits in the future is more amazing than everything in the past.

 Even though it's September, there's an air of New Years Eve hanging around. The Christmas-esque frenzy of deciding what I really want (to keep, to do) is over and now I can enjoy a couple days merriment. Starting over (yet again)- I want this year to be full of intention (even if it isn't really a new year). And like on the precipice of every New Year, resolutions abound:

Be more focused.

Live more simply.

Work less.

Ignore everything and everyone that adds stress.

But more than anything- to just SLOOOW DOWN.

I have so much to not do, and I can't wait till I can get started not doing it. Until then, I just have to make it through this long faux December.


"... a lot of oysters, but no pearls."

Yep, that pretty much sums up my NYC experience.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Job security

Job security:

I haz it.

 Bet these guys don't hang around your workplace.

God bless the guys (and sometimes gals who defend us (Americans, New Yorkers) from the crazies who'd love to do us in.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Evening Govna!

As our time in New York comes to an end I'm trying to fit in as much fun as possible (on my oh so very rare days off). 

So Doctor A and I hopped on the ferry to Governor's Island to enjoy a free show featuring my fave singer (you know who she is- re: previous post!)

 (I just noticed that the guy standing up in the middle of this picture is Josh Kaufman- click to enlarge!)

Unfortunately, the island's website is very misleading about the availability of food there. The only thing open when we got there was one lone food cart that turned out to be mostly a mirage- nothing the kindly lady had left to proffer even remotely registered as food- there is not enough Pepto Bismal in the world to entice me to eat jerk chicken from a cart. 

So we roamed the place for a while like a couple of hungry dogs, until finally giving up and trudging into the music venue- where, Heaven be praised, we got friendly like with a couple delicious right off the grill burgers and all was well with the world again.

We found a primo supreemo spot amongst the electric palm trees over looking pretty little Gotham and got ready for the show, which did not disappoint! (Except that Dawn And The Hound's set was much too short.)  They did play "Straight Lines", though, which pretty much made my century.

 (Cutest concert outfit ever! Where do you even find something so awesome?)

And, oh, Justin Townes Earle! Lord how I love his music. However, I've got to say- this was the first time I heard him live and there is just something strongly disingenuous about his onstage persona. 

Unfortunately by the time Mr Ritter took the stage I wasn't feeling so hot and we decided that since we both had to work in the morning we might as well set sail for home.

 Post Edit: One thing that I absolutely adore about the quirky Dr Ackerman is that whenever we're going to the beach, instead of wearing a t-shirt or other casual wear, he dons khaki cargos and a white button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Best outfit ever. (Does it remind you of Ethan Crane? It reminds me of Ethan Crane, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one that ever watched that show.) 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won't back down

From Young Folks:

"It doesn't matter where we're going.

It doesn't matter what we do.

We'll just stick around

and see this life through." I think that may be my favorite cover ever.

Nope actually, this song is:

-----------------post edit-------------------------

My senior class voted Tom Petty's "Free Falling" to be the graduation song. awesome. Btw, the vids posted above aren't much for the watching, but the tunes are sweeeeet.

Friday, August 06, 2010

less is more

I want one of those big gold necklaces that are popular with Latina chicks, but instead of spelling out my name I want it to read

"I'm aware you have an opinion

but I'm not interested in hearing it."

I don't know if the flea market jeweler will be able to fit all that in though, so maybe I should just get one that says "hush!".

Hmmm, my latina-jewlery-advice-dodging plan smacks of bad attitude, so maybe I should just stick with my old aversion tactic that's as follows; anytime someone starts in on me for something random, or goes on unwarranted advice tirades, or is really negative, or just makes me uncomfortable in any way, I try to find something (positive) about them to talk about. It works. every time. because the only thing obnoxioius people love more than giving someone a hard time is talking about themselves.

"You shouldn't eat dried pineapple- they preserve it with sulphur dioxide, you know. I only buy organic. You should shop at WholeFoods. "

"WOW you shop at WholeFoods, you must live in town, I bet you love living in the center of everything, how's your parking situation?".

Obnoxious tirade ended and further food snobbery averted.

(Sulphur dioxide is completely harmless and naturally occurring btw.)

Do you know what else annoys me and drives me crazy and thrills me and gives me absolute peace? painting. Here's a new one. I'm not sure how she fits into the "Fierce Flora" theme. Meticulous flora, studious flora, somber flora- any would be more appropriate I think.

You probably can't tell, but it's a close up of a Peony- my absolute favorite of all flowers.

They are such silly flowers- big round blossoms on skinny stalks you soak in warm water to open. A sensible flower would die in warm water, but peonies just blossom and smell like heaven.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Where you gonna go with a heart that gone?

I've been sorting my Earthly possessions into three categories:

Boxes= keep

(Favorite clothes, expensive art supplies- liquefied pumice ain't cheap ya know- finished paintings, books I could read more than once, and doodles from my doctor.)

Garbage bags= throw away

(Failed art projects, things I always said I'd fix but I know deep down I won't, shoes I loved the soles right off of, a million miscellaneous things I gathered as art supplies but which now must return to their true identity as garbage- broken calculators I'm talking to you- and clothes simultaneously luxuriously comfortable yet so ugly a hobo would be embarrassed to be seen in public in them- Legends of the Confederacy t-shirt, that means you

 Bags with a ribbon tied on= give away

(Books I bought that never quite made it into my heart- don't worry Watership Down, you're safe-a warm but ugggly man's wool coat I got at a flea market before I got my down-filled LL Bean dream, extra sunglasses,  clothes that are too small, too trendy, too uncomfortable, or "unlucky"- if I have a really bad day in a particular shirt I will almost never wear it again- weird, I know, but that's how it's been since middle school. Maybe for someone else, my cute cable knit tan sweater won't be such a bane.) 

Purging my possessions always takes me back to the other times I've been through this- in distant places, basements, foreign countries, trying to convince myself I won't miss my junk, like I won't miss the friends I've made or the family members left behind, like I won't miss my favorite local restaurants, and all the other things you take for granted when you live someplace long enough to get comfortable. Orthodox Jewish little boys on skateboards, there are none of you anywhere else I've lived. Doorman who is crazy about Radar, who ALWAYS asks if it's OK to pet him even though we see you every single day, it cracks me up how you always want to hug my white dog even though you wear a solid black suit and end up covered  in dog hair- I would take you with us. But I can't; you and the kosher deli and the hipster Brooklynites will all be staying here in NYC.

with one third of my stuff.

If this song doesn't get your feet stomping, then you're probably a robot, which is also cool. 

**********************Post Edit*************************************

Holy run-on-sentences Batman! I think I must be channeling Jack Kerouac.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I get points for using public transportation, right?

"Karate Kid, A-Team the movie, Robocop Reborn, The Tron movie; what next, Captain Planet The Movie?"

"Wouldn't be the worst callback film."

"Actually, I loved that show! I reeeeaaalllly wanted to be a planeteer, and save dolphins and stuff."

"Funny, cause you're the one that leaves all the lights on and runs the shower for half an hour before getting in.

I guess you kind of took that whole planeteer thing in the opposite direction, huh?"  


I was looking for the Captain Planet theme song- what I found was chilling evidence of how the Gulf oil spill really happened.

Also, I never realized that Whoopi Goldberg was Gaia. 

Sunday, July 04, 2010

home-sick V. sick-sick

On the fourth 

last year


I watched the fireworks over Chateau Elan with my family

I watched a steam engine parade in Dawsonville that inexplicably is focused on the Confederacy.

I watched a couple hundred of my relatives get together for a mass potluck.

I watched my Grandpa slowly losing to cancer.

This year I'm in NYC

Camped out on the couch, feeling equal parts home-sick and sick-sick.

Home-sickness is confusing when you've tumbled as much as this little stone has.

In my fevery pityparty there are strings pulling my heart to the familiarity of family and small backwoods towns,

and also abroad to a big open apartment on a hill- ocean breezes and the sound of waves, and good friends always afoot.

Also, there's an odd vague home-sickness for the road. Where stagnant wandering shoes can shake of the dust and get life moving again on to the next step.

Today it's the fourth of July, 2010.

I'm watching a baseball game and tangoing with consciousness.

 Looking just out my window I saw my Haccidic neighbors setting up an awning an table then I fell asleep. 

Now I can watch them having a cookout that looks more like a see-who-can-grow-the-best-beard-competition.

Happy fourth

Monday, June 21, 2010

silly band fans

I know...
we r silly

Sunday, June 20, 2010

wierd little things that stick with you

Getting braces is kind of awful.

Especially if you're already an extraordinarily awkward self conscious young teen girl.

I got my braces on a Monday.

I'm sure it was a Monday, because we had dinner at my Grandpa Frank's house, just like EVERY Monday.

Sometimes we ordered pizza, sometimes roast beef sandwiches, but when the vegetable garden was in full swing you could bet your bottom dollar we'd be having what papa Frank clearly considered to be the only correct formula for a meal:

1 meat + 2 vegetables + biscuits + dessert

The favored meat was chicken in gravy- a recipe he'd gotten from a Campbell's soup can and taped to the back of a cabinet, the biscuits were from a can, but always hot out of the oven, dessert: strawberries or Pecan Sandies.

The vegetables were out of the garden- thin sliced fried okra, or cantaloupe, but on this particular night like many others, it was fresh corn on the cob.

I, the posterchild of all moody unhappy teenage girls, declared my teeth hurt and that I wasn't going to eat anything. My mom tried to bend me to her evil evil will of sitting inside and enjoying a delicious dinner with the family, but in the end I escaped to the deck with a book where I read a paperback and sulked about the misery of life and dentistry.

A couple minutes later my Brad brought me out a plate. He could've just brought me a fork and knife, but instead he took the time to cut the corn off the cob so I could eat it without hurting my teeth.

He did that every single time we had corn at a family dinner all 5 years I had braces.

I never had to ask.

Like a thousand other times, he just did what a good dad would do.

Happy Father's Day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I need a fresh set of drawers.

I wandered the back streets of Queens regularly when I was working as a delivery girl (years ago). One day, after schlepping 5 dozen roses to an elderly Jewish lady in a building where the doorman wouldn't let me use the main elevator, I skulked slowly back to work down some intentionally crooked streets avoiding the boulevard, until I came to the turnpike.

That was when I saw it.

A perfect beautiful antique sewing desk sitting next to crippled Ikea end tables and the other cast offs sitting on the sidewalk waiting for the garbage man.

After work I enlisted Peter's help and we tried our best to load it into the Sunfire.

It was gorgeous, ancient, in perfect condition and there was no possible way to get it home.

Finally, we abandoned the treasure and went home. Only, some of the drawers were still in the trunk.

Beautiful solid wood, tongue-in-groove construction, most likely hand constructed little drawers.

So... I banged them apart.

and painted on them.

and now I need more.

Only, you can't go to Michaels and pick up turn of the century wooden bits.

So, if you see me eyeing the junk on the sidewalk extra hard, it's just cause I'm looking for a fresh set of drawers.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

a sartorial post of my very own

I was walking down a busy street in Philadelphia with the Ackerman Medical Squad (Dr Peter and nurse Jamie) when something happened to me that had never happened before:

A gorgeous fashionista walked up to me and said "I LOVE your outfit!"

The thing that makes this story awesome is that everything I was wearing had been dug out of clearance sale racks and altered by yours truly. (Except for the denim jacket. It needed no alterations- it was awesome as is.)

This dress came out in the middle of Winter (cause that's when everyone wants to buy a light as air strappy dress, of course). I tried it on, but beautiful as it was on the hanger, it just did not hang well on a human figure. at all. so I passed.

A few months later when I was digging through the aforementioned clearance pile I decided to make peace with it's awkward draping and pay it's $10 ransom from sale hell.

It hung around for a few days until I woke up and decided that it was finally the day to wear it, so I put it on, and in what is probably the worst idea ever, started cutting first, and measuring none. I cut off the goofy gathered high collar, but kept the fluff of tulle and kind of rolled it down, till it was the same level as the underdress. Next, I put a couple of stitches in the side to make it fit a little better, and sewed the shoulder bows onto the straps. Snip snip snip and done.

add awesome denim jacket

mend the small rip in the super clearance tights

slip on some old cowboy boots

and you have the awesomest outfit ever

(Except maybe my gallery opening outfit, but believe me honey, I payed the piper for that piece of beauty.)

A few weeks later I wore it to a concert and when I was getting a record signed by the band Dawn Flippin Landes asked me where I found my dress!

Jiminy cricket, I never spent $12 on clothes better!

The whole experience has encouraged me to make the alterations I've been thinking about on my other clothes.

Now my motto for all my ill fitting/ old/ paint smeared clothes =

cut it till you love it!

__________________________post edit___________

new link alert in the Blogs I Actually Read list: rugged/refined -a style blog that's actually well written

Friday, June 04, 2010


Tonight I opened my e-mail to find my little lambs have been featured in not one, but two treasuries.

Have a look:

Number 1

Number 2

Monday, May 31, 2010

busy bird

Tonight I'm too busy to write a real blog post, so here, have a look at my latest painting:

Fierce Flora #3:


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Unwavering Water Lily

This here's numero dos in the fierce flora series:

Water Lily

Standing strong and straight amidst the constant movement of the water.

side note: I dream about being underwater a lot

Another side note: After many years of painting, I finally feel like I'm coming into my true artistic self. Even though each piece is different, there's definitely more cohesiveness to it. or something.

Yet another side note- this painting, and many others can be bought here:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Will we be going to SXM for graduation? nah.

Will we be renewing our lease here? nope

Do I know where I'll be living next month (in 6 months? next year?) negetory

Will we be taking a vacay this Summer? nu-uh

Have any of the plans I've ever made worked out? absolutely not

Am I finding it easy to stay optimistic? not really

but I don't think it's by accident that when "researching" for my sheep painting I stumbled across this quote:

"David wasn't thinking of being king when he was tending sheep; he was just doing what God sat before him." -John Fisher

I think right now I'm being taught about patience and frustration.

Oh well.


Look at this video! I just saw it on Dr Nick's Blog and was all like omg that's my hood! (Actually, it's about a mile away from my hood- I hang my hat in the heart of Russian Jew country, which is awesome, cause they're awesome. All my neighbors have like five adorable super respectful yamica adorned kids each.

Also, I feel pretty safe here- no one is going to mug me and steal all my cash while I walk to my building... but if they did I'd bet they'd invest it wisely. Only downside: They make me look like the biggest wuss in cold weather- nothing like waiting for the bus in two sweaters, a parka, and snow boots with women in stilettos and knee length dresses talking about how it feels like springtime in Belarus. )

Monday, May 24, 2010

feeling a little sheepish

Dear Art School Slackers,

I do not feel even a little bad about "dumpster diving" your terrible landscapes (on exquisite canvas!).

I don't feel bad about sandpapering them down.

and I don't feel bad about painting them black.

I'm glad you don't take the time to create something anybody would appreciate, but moreso, I'm just glad you're too much of a slacker to claim your artwork before it (and it's exquisite canvas) gets thrown out.

Keep on underachievin'!


-Mrs A

Below: Underachiever's landscape post sanding and blackcoating. Thars gonna be some sheepies here soon!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cherry blossom girl

Old light bulbs make lovely vases.

I'm in love with the cherry blossoms floating around my back yard right now.

Unfortunately, Gen Beauregard decided that these were so delicious, I didn't get to enjoy them inside very long before he devoured them.

Cherry blossoms aren't poisonous to cats, right?

Fierce Flora

I hadn't been living in NYC that long, and I'd never seen the beautiful Brooklyn promenade, so my friend Juliet gave me the grand tour one night after Etsy Labs.


Making our way back to the sketchiness that is the NYC subway system where we'd part ways she gave me some of the best advice for a new New Yorker.

"Listen to your instincts.

If it feels like something isn't right, it isn't."

I don't know how many times I've heard her words echo in my head seconds before I dart away from where my instincts say somethings about to go down.

Like when I crossed the street only to look back and see a mugging and other times, too...

I think living in a city with so many people requires you to turn your instincts up a higher level than other places. Not that you're completely safe anywhere, but in NYC anything can happen any time.

After spending a nice chunk of my life here, I try not to get into situations where self defense might be required, but I've found that tuning into your instincts will serve you well as a first line.


Thistles are awesome.

They're beautiful, but are clearly quite capable of tending to their own defense.

Here, have yo self a juicy little history nugget:

In 1540, King James V established the Order of the Thistle. He and his 12 knights wore a badge depicting a star, a thistle and the words "no one harms me without punishment."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Love is a temple

Dr and Mrs A

-married 6 years

-moved 7 (soon to be 8) times

-survived high school

-survived undergrad

-survived medical school

- said "adios!" to 99% of our earthly possessions twice

-survived fast food jobs, night shift jobs, ultra-demanding overtime-all-the-time jobs and life without jobs

-survived living in a foreign country

-survived trying to restore an old as dirt cottage

-Survived living in a teeeeny tiny Caribbean apartment, and an even tinier one in NYC

- survived 1000 pointless fights

- and 100000 odious puns

- has taken hundreds of walks with our pup

Even though....

-He's science... ...and I'm art

-He's digitally generated compositions and I'm folk

- he's video games and I'm crosswords

-because after almost a decade of hanging out together we still both think the other is cool and fun and interesting

-because we have a strong mutually shared belief system

-because when one of us is all "this sucks and I can't stand it" the other is always "it's going to be ok! We'll be fine without any of our stuff/living a million miles from home/ after we bury the dead cat/ completely broke/ with no privacy. We'll get through it."

-Because we know God won't give us more than we can handle.

- Because at this point we're fairly used to living by the skin of our teeth

Because we're awesome