Thursday, November 20, 2014

We made the paper!

Not the actual local paper, but one from a nearby town. And just look at these lovely goofballs I get to spend my playtime with!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hello curls!

Photo shoot Friday night in preparation for our December show ... a recreation of a December 1944 radio broadcast to the troops. I always fuss about my hair with any/every theatrical endeavor, so I left work early that day to go home and put my hair up into velcro rollers, and then have at it with the curling iron. And I'm super happy with the results. If I could spare an extra half hour in the mornings, I would totally do this every day. But until I convince myself to be a morning person, I don't see that happening with any regularity!!

Let's hope I can replicate this look on the night! 

Friday, November 14, 2014


Dear Blog,

I know. I know. I changed your name again. Sorry, not sorry, as the saying goes.

I've made my way around the internet, as one does, getting a Twitter account, trying to figure out Tumblr, getting lost on Instagram and Pinterest. And you make accounts, and you try things out and eventually you realize you've got 17 different personalities out there. And it just got exhausting.

I'm trying to simplify things right now. I'm moving at a glacial pace, but I just got fed up the other day and decided that for the most part I was going to have one identity on the internet. So I changed all (most?) of my social media "names" to some version of My Blue Castle.

And we'll see how it goes. In many respects I feel "real-er" when I don't have to use my real name or some version thereof that can be tracked back to me. But maybe its time to change that. The word authenticity keeps floating up in my brain. So I'm keeping that in mind. Maybe its my 2015 word. We'll see.

But for now, I want to be mostly one person. I've still left a few pockets out there for when I'm feeling too fragile to put all my thoughts out there. But maybe its time to stop hiding so much.

After all, the wisdom of The Blue Castle says;

“Fear is the original sin. Almost all of the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something. It is a cold slimy serpent coiling about you. It is horrible to live with fear; and it is of all things degrading.” 
― L.M. MontgomeryThe Blue Castle

Let's see how it goes...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Animal Totems

I drove up to University Town (tm) Saturday. The first time I was going sweater shopping, the second time I was headed for the Performing Arts Center for our evening performance. Both times there were SO MANY hawks out ... flying overhead, perched on wires and lampposts, staring at me from road signs. 

Over the last year I've started to pay more attention to the animals I encounter every day. There are lessons there more often than not. And on a day when I was hunting for cute outfits, and overseeing a production, Hawk seemed like a good guide for the day. 

Hawk spirit animals invite us to be focused in our daily undertakings. When you feel the presence of the hawk totem, avoid distractions and focus on the task at hand.
At the same time, hawks can soar and fly high in the sky. This animal has the power to provide support in gaining a higher level perspective on any issue or project you undertake. When the hawk appears in your life, it’s perhaps time to be less distracted by the details and focus on the higher perspective. Relying on the hawk power, you can see what’s ahead clearly and defy any obstacles that may be on your way. A specific way the hawk guidance works is to use a high level and yet clear and focused vision to guide your action. (from:
Someday when I have a few extra bucks, this oracle card set will be mine. Until then, I'll just keep paying attention to my daily animal companions!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The little things matter so much.

Yesterday, Friday, was the end of my week of madness trying to balance work with production week for the show I'm stage managing. Running on so little sleep both work and the show end up suffering a bit inevitably. But you get through it.

And so one of the things I've been doing this week is trying to appreciate the little things. To balance out the madness just a bit -- giving myself a new haircut, piling on some favorite jewelry, stopping to appreciate some hardy roses. It just makes the day better!! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lots of ups and downs over the last few days. I keep hearing and seeing "relax" and "accept" so trying to take the bad with the good.

We had our second live staged radio show reading last week. Those are SO much fun. Don't we look like we're having fun?

Last month we did a version of The Lottery. This month we lightened things up with three Faery Tales. I'm never sure what those folks who are just hanging out at the bookstore/cafe where we perform think of these things, but I do know WE have fun. So ... We've started recording them and at some point hope to have them up on the web and maybe someday even live broadcast. But we've a ways to go in working out the technical kinks.

That was Wednesday (for rehearsal) and Thursday (for the performance) nights.

Then Friday night I came home, ate my fast food, and crashed into bed at 7:30 and read the evening away. I should probably have gotten up at some point and done something constructive, but I didn't. Laze around in bed and then roll over and go to sleep is just so decadent!!

House and yard work Saturday.

Sunday I had high hopes for as the weather was lovely and it was Easter, but I spent the day in bed with a horrible headache. Managed to pull things together to go to my parents for Easter dinner. Yummy dinner and lazing in front of the TV helped put me on the road to recovery.

Then off to my friends for second dessert ... that turned into second dinner as well. I hadn't seen them in a while, so we ate and chatted and laughed and I got my birthday presents -- only three months late! This is what happens when people are busy, and things are on backorder! LOL But it was a wonderful mellow night and exactly what I needed to recover for the horrible headache earlier in the day.

So back at work today and trying to get the week off on the right foot!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It was overcast and rainy last night, so there was no lunar eclipse watching. 

But with all the talk about this Red Moon Lunar Eclipse, it seems a good time to get down a few thoughts about how I've recently started trying to pay attention to the moon phases. I suspect there's a lot more I could be doing, but start small, eh? 

So I'm trying to mark the new moon energy by spending some extra time cleaning and decluttering. It happened somewhat by accident (are these things ever really accidents?) one weekend when I was on a cleaning spree and at some point noticed it was during a new moon. So. New moon = cleaning/clearing/cleansing. I suspect this practice will get refined many times, but its good to start, right?!

And tonight I (re-)started full moon self date night. I took myself to the neighborhood pizza joint. Treated myself to a beer, and my favorite pepperoni and mushroom pizza. And a salad. I love it there. The decor hasn't changed since the 50s. And the round booths are awesome for people watching. It's the place my parents met, so I always feel like there's good energy there for me. And on a Monday night its never that crowded and so I feel less weird about eating alone. Mostly using the full moon is just a good reminder to take myself out for some me time on a regular basis. But it feels right too to celebrate that sort of full-ness of self/self-care under a plump ol' moon!

I'm reading up on home and hearth rituals, so I suspect I'll come up with some others as I wander down the days, but here's a good start.

Monday, April 14, 2014

venturing onward.

I've been thinking a lot about where I want this blog to go, or what I want it to be, and today I had an inkling. So I tweaked the name a bit and brought it closer to my original inspiration for, well most things! The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery, published in 1926. It's her only book for adults, and its one of my favorite books, wherein Valancy Stirling -- 29, unmarried, and undesired, sets about changing her life.

Her real life, in a word, sucks, and so she's found a way to escape:

"Valancy, so cowed and subdued and overridden and snubbed in real life, was wont to let herself go rather splendidly in her day-dreams. Nobody in the Stirling clan, or its ramifications, suspected this, least of all her mother and Cousin Stickles. They never knew that Valancy had two homes--the ugly red brick box of a home, on Elm Street, and the Blue Castle in Spain. Valancy had lived spiritually in the Blue Castle ever since she could remember. She had been a very tiny child when she found herself possessed of it. Always, when she shut her eyes, she could see it plainly, with its turrets and banners on the pine-clad mountain height, wrapped in its faint, blue loveliness, against the sunset skies of a fair and unknown land. Everything wonderful and beautiful was in that castle. Jewels that queens might have worn; robes of moonlight and fire; couches of roses and gold; long flights of shallow marble steps, with great, white urns, and with slender, mist-clad maidens going up and down them; courts, marble-pillared, where shimmering fountains fell and nightingales sang among the myrtles; halls of mirrors that reflected only handsome knights and lovely women--herself the loveliest of all, for whose glance men died. All that supported her through the boredom of her days was the hope of going on a dream spree at night. Most, if not all, of the Stirlings would have died of horror if they had known half the things Valancy did in her Blue Castle."

As found as I am of castles in the clouds... and I have a little patch of imaginary woodland that serves much the same purpose as Valancy's castle ... right now I am trying to figure out how to make the imagined manifest. So here at the junction of imagination and reality is my Blue Cottage. Let's see what there is to fill it with!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

hello Tuesday

Lots of awesome clouds this morning as I go back to work after a horrible migraine day yesterday. New days dawning and all that. And of course, Tuesday feels like Monday so I'll have the days of the week all screwed up now. Losing whole days to migraines really sucks!

Friday, April 4, 2014

more wardrobe musings

It's funny. For all that I love spending a day rocking a vintage inspired look and swishing around in a petticoat and a cute dress, when I got dressed this morning I pulled on a pair of comfy jeans and my favorite cream knit t-shirt  and I just sighed at the comfort of it. I find myself more and more these days gravitating to soft soft clothes. Knit tops in white, or cream, or grey. Nothing stiff, or tight, or itchy. Even some days patterns just hurt my eyes. It feels like a real wardrobe overhaul.

I love the idea of those 10, 20, or 30 item closets. But then when I look in my closet and see my 10 cardigans I get overwhelmed by the idea of getting rid of any of them. But slowly I am paring things back. And I think I might be ready for another go around where I get rid of a bunch of the "maybe" clothes. Maybe it will fit some day. Maybe I will need another black skirt. Maybe I will find something to wear this with ...

It's time to build a closet for today, and not someday methinks!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

a trip down memory lane

I'm wearing my new white shirt-dress today. It's adorable and it has a built in crinoline that swishes delightfully when I walk. I put on my pink beaded sweater with it and I keep thinking back to this book that I remember from my elementary school library with a candy striper on the cover.

I nabbed this book cover off the internet for illustration purposes. It's not the one I remember but the outfit is similar. It was probably one of those "careers for girls" books. And while I've never had the desire to be a candy striper ... I still love the outfit!! There's something about the crispness of the pinafore dress in combination with the pink stripes...

It's a good memory.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New moon, new month, new outlook

It was 61 degrees when I left the library yesterday. So a little celebration was in order when I got home. 

I've been thinking a lot about change lately. About how hard it is to stop doing what you're used to doing and step out in a new direction. But I'm also tired of feeling like I'm sleepwalking through life. It was a long winter around these parts. 

I was wandering around Pinterest the other day. (No big surprise there!) And I saw a poster that said "Bloom Where You Are Planted." And I couldn't stop thinking about how this was a truth I needed to hear. A two-fold truth about how one way forward is to both accept where you are and then set about making that place a good place to be.

So April is being dedicated to blooming. 

Which meant that when I got home last night I cleared off this little table. It's right inside my back door, and the first place I see when I come in from the garage. Consequently its the dumping ground for a lot of JUNK. So the first task was to clear off the table ... and yes, the floor around it! Then I got out the vintage tablecloth I bought months back on a rainy Saturday trawl through an antique mall especially for this purpose. I fixed a healthy-ish chicken sort-of-burrito bowl and sat down at my little table in the spring sunlight and ate dinner, and read a book.

Last spring (or early summer) moved a bunch of junk out of this awkward corner of my house and put in the table and the twinkle lights. I loved my joyful little corner -- which was added to at Christmas with a vintage Hoosier cabinet that you can't see in the picture. But over the winter it was mostly too cold to sit back here. So I'm very happy that Spring is springing up and allowing me to reintroduce myself to this spot in my house. 

More TLC to come as I tackle more piles of junk in the kitchen (and then I hope in other rooms). My poor little house needs some serious spring clearing!! But it starts here in my little nook of joy!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

monday meanderings

It's payday and I was feeling sort of craptastic this morning ... so what's a girl to do? Hello Amazon my old friend. OK so I only went a little nuts. And I had a gift card! See. I've been eyeing up that Cinch spiral binding machine for a while now. On the theory that I can take all that scrap paper littering up my house ... and all those free discards from my bookstore owning friend ... and put together some spiral books that I can sell -- either through friend's bookstore or etsy or both.

I tried the etsy thing  a while back when I was making blank cards. But selling individual cards is just not worth the time it takes to list, and the shipping costs etc. But perhaps some nice chunky scrap journals might do the trick. Of course there's every chance the binding machine will turn out to be just another dusty paperweight in my craft room. But I hope not.

I'm still way behind on my scrapbooking. But while I was in money spending mode I finally remembered to order a bunch of pictures I need to finish up some stuff from last December. So bonus points there. Now to find the time to excavate my craft table and get going.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Notes from the nest

So I've been thinking about stillness a lot lately. The kind of gentle strength of a deer standing at the edge of the forest. Antlers wreathed with flowers. Pictures of Frida Kahlo with flowers in her hair. Reading excerpts of books about how society undervalues Introverts. About what the line is between self care and self indulgence. Navigating that line between treating myself gently and needing to kick my ass into gear. Of valuing what I am instead of what society tells me I should be. Of spilling colors on scrap paper. Of taking those random pages and making a book to help me navigate my inner wild spaces.

There's a lot percolating, and I should come to this space more. I do try. But then I find myself simply gazing out the window and watching the trees wave in the wind.