Monday, March 31, 2014

The Myth Of The Welfare Queen

Fascinating read.  If I thought I could get by without "entitlements" I most certainly would get out of the trap.  90% of my income goes to housing and utilities.  I have lived for years without a TV.  I drive an old car that was given to me.  I use the local food pantry, and I transport someone who does not have a car.  For the times when for what ever the reason my housing gets jeopardized, I keep my tent and sleeping bag handy.  Thankfully, Syd and I were saved from homelessness by a woman who had a spare credit card who paid for 10 days at The Starlite Motel.  From there I was able to secure housing for us without trying to do it from the street.

David Zucchino's insightful book has been comforting to me.  Poverty is not a crime, but the criminalization of the poor goes on, as poor people can not get legal help.  When I get in a jam, I go to legal aid even though it is seldom that they handle cases such as the legal action I launched in regard to the unpaid phone bill (3 months after I moved), and the unpaid water bill that was acquired for a year prior to my moving in at Paul Drive.  Had I listened to the person at the bar association when I called, there would not have been any court cases.  These channels have to be explored, or well meaning people who suggest them could chalk it up to the poor person not exercising every available opportunity.  I highly recommend The Myth Of The Welfare Queen.  Hopefully, the author will provide some solutions by the end of the book.  That is just one more book that I don't have to write!  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Interesting Diversion

My friend Bill P. stopped by to see me the other day.  I got to ride in a big rig.  The world looks different from inside a truck cab.  I am glad he didn't have a trailer with him, as parking in front of the beauty shop would have been tricky.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Perryton General Store

What about the cat I say?  The cat in this old photo from the early 80's name was Baxter.  Cats have always been my true north.  Baxter was the store cat.  We had no mice!

Putting a cat in the window of a painting is almost as natural as breathing.  Not having a cat in the window would be unnatural:)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Trying To Keep A Sense Of Humor

This from my green thumb sister gardener Deb!  Guess what I'm doing today?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gaining Ground

 I am hitting the ground runnin today!  Off to the local food pantry and then hopefully to see my Grandmother.  Syd is bent out of shape as he would like nothing better than to be outside.  Of course, I don't let him out when I know I am going to be gone for awhile.  He will just have to sit tight and wait for me to let him out when I get back.  I got a bunch of materials yesterday on Perryton Ohio that I am anxious to get to.  I will sign off for now, and be back bright and shiny tomorrow morning.  Stay tuned dearest readers.  I have lots of stuff to share.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Happiness is Potting Soil

My friend Jeanne gave me some potting soil yesterday.  It felt like Christmas!  Funny how something so simple as dirt can become so precious.  I feel the same way about red clay, and it is just dirt and water when you think about it.  The forsythia has not bloomed even once, so I am not going to get too rambunctious about putting plants outside, but I feel the shift.  It is time, to put aside winter things and gather together spring things.  It gladdens my heart. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meteorite Ring

I have some leftover meteorite and am thinking about making a ring.  These are quite pricey ($400 or more), but I don't like having unused materials laying around for years.  I shudder to think that in the event of my death (because of my low income) my shit would be put the curb!  What a waste.  A life collecting valuable things, rather than trying to hide and save money.  That is what lays ahead of me though.  "Capitalism is violent and seamless" to quote a friend of mine who shall go unnamed!  I am trying to work in some sort of will or living trust this year to make sure the artifacts, my jewelry, my paintings and other artists paintings: that I have collected end up in museums or libraries rather than Big O trash truck.  I remind me of stories about these old spinsters that died poor, but had all sorts of wealth in their belongings.  In fact, folks have walked into my house and pointed out objects and collectables that are valuable, wondering why I don't sell the pieces.  This is simple...I enjoy them, and if I sold them for what they are worth I would violate the income guidelines that are imposed on poor people like me who have to live on entitlements.  I sold two paintings this year, a knife, and a little repair work.  That is not enough to live on, but it is just enough to supplement my income.  I have tried consignment, and it hasn't worked as too much time passes, and sometimes the consignment shop goes belly up...and guess stuff ends up unsold and packed up and gone with the fly by night business.  I have to operate in a way that I don't lose the thing I have made. 

So when I had inheritance money, I bought art supplies and materials like meteorite.  I repaired antiques.  I replaced broken things that I needed.  I bought clothes for the first time in my adult life.  Poverty is a financial hardship for me, but I have a wealth in what I have been able to find and keep.  I am reading a book this week about The Myth Of The Welfare Queen.  I haven't read anything that I didn't know about through my own experiences, but it has been refreshing to see poverty and the consequences through and affluent authors eyes!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ebay Auctions Set Back In Motion

It has been awhile since I tried to sell on eBay.  As an experiment, I launched an auction yesterday afternoon for one of the last pieces of pottery I made since my kiln was destroyed.  I should have added a ruler in the picture to help the prospective customer see the size.  I should have included my business card sticking out of the clay pot.  I should have ironed the bandana that I used to cover up the dirty tree stump in front of my best light window (where Syd often sits).  Lots of "shoulds" to consider for next time.  My friend Louise always said "shoulds don't come from the Universe".  I started the book on Perryton.  The dedication of the book is to Doris Barrick who conceived the book in the first place.  It will be hard to write it without being able to ask her stuff.  She died a couple years ago when I was living at my sister's house out in Frazeysburg.  She would be tickled that I am tackling this project.  I will be willing though to turn the project over to some other writer that actually loves and lives in the town.  I see Perryton Ohio as a town in collapse.  More on that later dear readers.  I hope you are getting out into some of this sunshine.  Syd and I are.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Old School Houses

Early this morning I began to download and post any pictures I could find in relation to Perryton Ohio.  I started with Google Images where I found this old photo that is also on Flicker.  On Flicker I found a few more that I have had trouble posting the images.  I have begun the very tedious process of writing a book about Perryton.  I grew up in that town.  I have some fond memories of it as well as some heartbreaking ones.  The trouble with this old schoolhouse is that it is not located in Perryton.  It is within a couple miles, if in fact it still exists.  The recent photos of this schoolhouse were dated 2007.  Another problem is that I have no recollection of ever seeing this schoolhouse, in spite of my interest in old schoolhouses.  You may recall that in 1989 I renovated an old schoolhouse on Pleasant Valley Church Road (Near Pete Millers Junk Yard).  I took several photos while I lived there and I made a sketch that I had intended to use for a home made Christmas card. 

I was gone by Christmas that year.  It was not possible for me to live in that community as hard as I tried.  Most of the attitudes and prejudices that I grew up with, and in spite of, are still stubbornly in place today.  It is going to be difficult for me to write this book because of all the ritualistic abuse and the trauma that the recollections will inevitably cause.  I moved away.  I changed my name.  I connected with folks that love me for who I am, rather than try to control me.  A short history book must be factual, and I will try my hardest not to let my resentments, my horrible experiences, and memories prevent me from writing it.  If there is someone else out there that wants to write it, then I will gladly turn over any writing and photos that I obtain in my searches.  I will not publish a book about Perryton without photographs as I think that would be boring and it would bore me to death to try it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

got seeds? Updated

Several years ago I designed and launched a website called got seeds?  You can access it from the right hand column of this blog along with other websites I have made. offers 5 free websites and as a beginner this was the best option for me at the time.  The original (got seeds?) was a colossal failure, because it was an online seed exchange.  Our local library has offered a localized seed, sprout sharing program which I wholeheartedly endorse.  Rather than drop my website, I decided to update the old one.
The Livingston Seed Company (I have blogged about them in the past) donated the seeds to the library.  I snagged a few packs of seeds and made this little bird house for their display.  Please check out my website (got seeds?), and please by all means go to the library and use this wonderful service!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day Of Spring

Today is the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring.  It is said that an egg can be balanced on end during this time.  Somehow the moon and earth are in alignment on this day.  I must confess that even though I have balanced an egg on end during this time in the past, I don't know that it wouldn't be possible to do that on any other day!  For sure today is different from all the other days that I have lived here on Eddy Street because today I woke up to home internet service.  It is going to be a life changing event.  It has been a long time coming as there were billing disputes with my service provider that were tied in with my Paul Drive address (which I went to court over for two years).  Time Warner billed me for 3 months internet service 3 months after I moved, and I was not going to start up any internet service while that error was on my credit report.  AT& T are not an option in this area, my landlord doesn't want a dish on this apartment, so I had to dig my heels in and dispute the bill, show receipt and wait for it all to be corrected.  It was a hardship, but I don't use a service when the service is not able to keep their accounts strait.  Most people would just go ahead and pay it even though they didn't owe it.  I am not like that.  I am stubborn and I will go to any lengths to get things straitened out.
  I used the library computer in the interum.  I made lots of friends and even sold one of my feathers on eBay using the library public computer.  Being an eBay seller these days is very tricky and I would not recommend using the library to launch auctions as patrons are limited to one hour.  EBay sellers must be able to field questions, and with only an hour a day, too much time passes to check auctions and often the session gets timed out before eBay business can be completed.  Be that as it may, I wanted to know if it was possible, so I tried it.  I posted one silver feather for 8 weeks, and it finally sold.  Today, I am editing pictures and starting the process of giving myself more options.  Happy Spring dear readership.  Don't waste the day.  There really could be something to all that stuff about balancing an egg because the earth and moon are aligned.  For sure there is more to balance than not just falling over! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Blogging From Home

It has been a long time coming, but as of today, I will be posting my blogs from home.  When I left my sisters house two winters ago, HughsNet was to follow me.  That is what my agreement with them promised initially, otherwise I would not have signed on.  But alas, with many of these type of things, the customer service people promise things that are not necessarily true.  I ended up in a class action lawsuit against HughsNet, and it has taken awhile for all that was involved to shake loose.  Today, I spent mostly freeing up disc space.  This computer is in better shape as of today than it has been since 2010 when I put my partners music files onto the hard drive.  I did not want to lose 8 years of music when I split up from that relationship.  Since then, that music has taken up almost 1/2 of my disc space.  I look forward to posting from here, although I will miss socializing with my librarians. 

More On Brians Work

Seldom do I run into some artist more productive than I...but when I do, it is someone like my friend Brian.  This man is talented, and I have known him only a year.  I look forward to collaborating with him on some future project.  In the meantime though, he inspires me in ways that I have not been inspired since my days in Columbus.  How I miss the artists and musicians of Columbus!

There is much I can learn from Brian...even the art of display.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Going In Circles

Just when I think I know exactly what project I need to work on, something else comes up!  And what about the cat?  Master Syd can not decide which side of the door he needs to be on.  Here you see him perched on my pipe vise/anvil trying to mentally cause me to open the door and let him outside.  I attended an art/craft show in New Lexington on Sunday, and Monday was a recovery day!  My friend Brian does beautiful work.  He has great pictures of his work, but it does not do justice to seeing it in real life.  I was happy to be able to see his display and local show, but I wasn't good for much action the following day.  Today though, I'm good to go.  Old man winter is finally releasing his grip, and I for one will be taking advantage of that. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Writing A Book About Perryton Ohio

A project that has been secretly in the wings for some time is a book about Perryton Ohio.  I have agreed, as of Friday to take on that project.  The book will be boring without pictures, so I will be trying to obtain photographs as I interview some of the folks and their recollections about Perryton.
  Perryton was once named Elizabeth Town, and is the town where I grew up.  I have mostly fond memories of the town, but there will be some surprises along the way.  The original idea for this book came from Doris Barrick, a teacher, historian, and friend who passed away recently.  Doris would be a fine source of information and I just wish I had taken on this project while she was still alive.  I can imagine that her spirit lives on even today in that little town.  Perhaps I will see her, and can channel what she wants to tell us.  I know she would be smiling at the prospect of the book that she conceived, and I am happy to take this project on rather than leave it unwritten.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Picking Up Where I Left Off

Out of all the paintings that I would like to pick up and finish, I think this one may be the most worthy.  Unlike the others, it is not from a photograph.  Strangely enough though, people who see this painting in my house believe they know just where this location is:)  I have written a grant to replace my camera, and hopefully, I will be able to take better pictures of my work.  The problem with this photo is that my finger was covering most of the flash.  If I don't cover the flash, I get glare.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring Cleaning 2014

My friend Louise always said "there is more to balance than not just falling over".  Over the years I have understood that phrase in whole new ways.  This weekend, I am spring cleaning...that is mopping floors, defragging the computer, and sorting through all my stuff.  Syd has spent lots of time outside now that old man winter is losing his grip.  I am looking forward to starting new projects, finishing old ones, and hopefully getting some funding for future projects.  This yin yang pendant was silver and gold.  It sold a couple summers ago.  I believe it is a perfect symbol for balance.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I Was Hoping For A Blue Ribbon

I was hoping to get a blue ribbon this year at the 2014 VSA show, and I did not.  Congradulations to all the winners.  Syd and I are happily contemplating our next move, and there is more than one kind of blue ribbon:)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

But What About The Cat?

I will be concentrating on my writing in the next few weeks.  Cats have been important to me all my life.  The cat in my painting was the cat I saved from being shot two winters ago.  If you have not read my first published short story, you can access it through this blog (to the right).

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thank You Everyone Who Attended

Thank you to everyone who came out Saturday to attend VSA 2014 Accessible Expressions Exhibition and Ohio Tour.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Here To There

I won't be posting a blog Saturday as I will be at the 2014 VSA Accessible Expressions Exhibition and Ohio Tour.  I hope to see many of you there!  Please don't forget to vote for Peoples Choice award.  I have heard you can vote online, but I do not have any confirmation on that.  I'd like to see you all personally though, so come out and play today!
Directions from Newark to Westerville Community Center (350 N. Cleveland Ave).  The award cerimony is at 12:00, but I plan on being there an hour before so I can visit with folks beforehand.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Ten Confirmed Guests!

I have ten confirmed guests coming to the VSA 2014 Exhibition on Saturday.  I regret that no one in my family of origin will be there.  My friends will be there though, and it is in spite of my family's indifference that my extended family of friends who have always been supported will be there to share the day with me.  I am guessing that more folks will show up, and I expect to be able to visit with some that I haven't seen in years!  Please come dear readers to the Westerville Community Center (google for directions).  The award cerimony is at noon, but I will be there early to visit with my friends and fellow artists. 

I had a lot of fun painting Everything's Peachy.  It was theraputic for me.  This painting is sold, and I hope to win another ribbon this year.  Please come to the event if you can.  It was a blast last year with wonderful entertainment and great snacks.  Oh....and don't forget to vote for the Peoples Choice award.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Beads And Bullets

Those of you who know me, know I am happiest when I am working on an art project.  This project The American Dream Catcher is now placed where my painting was, and I expect will begin to develop as I walk by and see it several times a day.  So far it is 100% recycled materials.  The hoop is barbed wire wound with pieces of the American flag that I found blowing around on the street.  There will be beads, bullets, feathers, and anything I come across that will fit the theme.  I hope to see some of my readership Saturday at Acessible Expressions 2014 at The Westerville Community Center.  I am going to shoot for 11:00 am so that I will have a chance to visit with my friends.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It Won't Work This Year, So Don't Even Try It


Last year, the night before the exhibition, Syd and I got a bomb threat.  I presume that one of my enemies wanted me to be so frightened that I wouldn't attend my own art show.  It didn't happen.  It is not going to happen this year either.  Hopefully, by now, my enemies know better than to try and manipulate me with threats.  I don't respond in the usual way to threats, as I would probably react in just the opposite way!  I have sold all three of these works, and I will be hoping to get a ribbon and an award this year, as well as visit with some friends that I haven't seen in a long while.

Simply Living Inspired Painting with Environmental Message Concha Castaneda's <>painting (Everything's Peachy) was selected for a statewide exhibition and tour of Ohio. The VSA 2014 Exhibtion and Tour begins March 8th at the Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Ave, 43082. Visitors can vote for the People's Choice award so if you go please consider a vote for Concha's painting. View her painting here. You can also check out her blog <>

Monday, March 3, 2014

Five Days Out

I am five days away from my Saturday Exhibition.  I have been busy contacting my friends and acquaintances to help me celebrate my art next Saturday March 8th the 2014 VSA Exhibition and Tour of Ohio with my painting Everything's Peachy.  Everything's Peachy was created out of donated acrylic paint and a canvas I scavenged out of a CCAD dumpster.  So in a way, like last years metal quilt, this work is also 100% recycled materials.  I am looking forward to Saturday, and I figure have invited nearly 30 people altogether.  Please consider attending this event dear readership.  In the absense of my indifferent family, I am hoping to at least feel like I have a supportive group of friends.  I wouldn't have made it as far as I have if it had not been for supportive friends!

Simply Living Inspired Painting with Environmental Message Concha Castaneda's <>painting (Everything's Peachy) was selected for a statewide exhibition and tour of Ohio. The VSA 2014 Exhibtion and Tour begins March 8th at the Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Ave, 43082. Visitors can vote for the People's Choice award so if you go please consider a vote for Concha's painting. View her painting here. You can also check out her blog <>

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday's Post Is A Pre-post

I will be in on Monday to blog about my weekend!
Simply Living Inspired Painting with Environmental Message Concha Castaneda's <>painting (Everything's Peachy) was selected for a statewide exhibition and tour of Ohio. The VSA 2014 Exhibtion and Tour begins March 8th at the Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Ave, 43082. Visitors can vote for the People's Choice award so if you go please consider a vote for Concha's painting. View her painting here. You can also check out her blog <>


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Busy Girl!

I have been very busy mailing out invitations, sending email invitations, and delivering invitations personally.  I sure hope my friends turn out for the upcoming exhibition and show.  don't forget to vote for Peoples Choice award.  I will be there and I hope to see some of my dear readership there as well.

Simply Living Inspired Painting with Environmental Message Concha Castaneda's <>painting (Everything's Peachy) was selected for a statewide exhibition and tour of Ohio. The VSA 2014 Exhibtion and Tour begins March 8th at the Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Ave, 43082. Visitors can vote for the People's Choice award so if you go please consider a vote for Concha's painting. View her painting here. You can also check out her blog <>