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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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  • E-mail me at:

    sara at saraarts dot com

    Make sure the subject line of your correspondence is clear and specific. I do not open e-mails from strangers unless I can tell in advance that I want to read them.

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  • I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Good reads, grownups only

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Ron Sullivan

I can roll my eyes in opposite directions simultaneously. 

I am so impressed I could just plotz. No, seriously. I can cross and uncross my eyes so it looks like eyeball calisthenics, but ot makes me seasick. But wow.

Um, and Marty Feldman was one of my cinema idols. Maybe that was a side effect of the crush I still have on Gene Wilder.

It's going to take me a while to come up with a self-portrait, so be patient, but I will pick up that meme.


See? It is cool, isn't it?

When I was a little girl, I fully expected to marry Gene Wilder someday. (So fetching in the Willy Wonka purple coat, drinking out of a candy daffodil! Swoon!) But then Gilda came along before we could meet, and he didn't wait for me. I can't blame him.

Also, it may please you to know that while I worked at Whole Foods, whenever I had to show a customer where to find something, I always made a point of saying, "Walk this way." Only a select few caught the reference and snorted, guffawed or, very rarely, actually attempted to mimic my somewhat lurching gait. They, of course, are among my very favorite customers, ever.

melissa b.

I'm it!

Dear god, you ARE weird. Deliciously weird. I want to see those eyes some day.

And Number 4? Yes. What the hell?

I'm going to do this for you, darling. Only because you are fantastic and are quite adored over here.


Ah, Melissa, I can't wait to discover what you think is weird about yourself! I'm sure we will all be enchanted.

On the other hand, I also know that you are spread a bit thin right now, so please feel under no obligation to hurry.



I'm with you on a couple of points: pot is absolutely no fun, and veggies are the best!


Yes! Veggies are the best! Remember, there would be no carrot cake if there were no carrots. (I'm sure that's meaningful if one doesn't think about it too hard.)

What I find most delightful about this particular meme, everywhere I see it, is the number of ways people's various assertions, affirmations, and denials about themselves and their vision of the rest of the world do and don't intersect. It really serves to deepen my confusion (and support my hypothesis) about what is odd in the first place.

To butcher the far more cogent thoughts of poor ol' Will yet again --

There is nothing either weird or normal but thinking makes it so.

Ron Sullivan

It's obviously going to take me forever to answer the second meme, but I'll tell you why I read here: personal liking aside, you post some of the damnedest (by which I mean good) technical writing I've ever seen. That last series on hillwalking is a keeper. It's a pleasure to read even when it doesn't (so far) apply directly to me.

Speaking of publishing: ! !

Ya know, my favorite grammy lost both her legs, I suppose to undiagnosed diabetes, and it depressed the bejeezus out of her. I've often wondered how different the last ten years of her life might have been if she'd had decent and enlightened medical care, and more mobility after she lost the first one. And whether she'd've lived longer, though almost no one on either side of my line lasts past 70, and most don't make it that far. Still, it would have been nice to have had her longer; she died when I was about eight. Part of it was the times (1950s) and part was that she was poor and lived in a Coal Region backwater. That means a lack of knowledge about what's possible, as well as a lack of money to pay for it.

I keep meaning to ask why you quit the Whole Foods job. (MYOB and/or email cheerfully accepted, of course.)


I will be doing this. I definitely will! (Argh! I only have three more days!!)


Ron, I am having a seriously crappy weekend. My sweet little old cat, probably my last cat ever, is more obviously terminally ill than usual, and the boyfriend is cranky for diverse reasons including this. Thus I cannot tell you how well-timed were your kind remarks. I read them yesterday morning just as I was finishing a fit of sobbing my face off over what an incredibly bad and worthless pet caretaker (and by extension human) I am, and because of this, reading them felt very much like someone patting me on the head and telling me, "There, there. You're not a complete F-up. You're not."

I started the Whole Foods post two weeks ago, but there've been complications with my complications, so I've had to set it aside temporarily. I will get back to it, and the many other exciting posts I have planned, as soon as my head clears a little.

And I'm sorry your granny suffered so. That's a whole other post, a specific look at the way things have changed over the last fifty years and why, and how to get the best out of what we have now. I'm officially adding it to the list.

Angela, I'm delighted that you dropped by, and I look forward to seeing what you write. Please don't stress out over this, though. You have a lot going on, what with all the Skittles and snot controversies, not to mention changing the entire format of your blog that you originally planned to punt altogether. I understand. And meanwhile, you can blame Ms. Melissa B. for the fact that I ever found you in the first place.

Cheers, ladies!


Oh my, I missed this too! And you're right, I hardly have time for a meme. I'll bookmark it in Bloglines for when I have time to kill, posts to write and not a thing to write about!

I prefer Pacifico myself, when I can get it. I do like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, though.

I caught the Brazil reference! Love love love that movie. Sorry your complication had a little complication - hope things are better now.


Hey, Leslee --

Seriously, no pressure re the meme. Gad, I think it took me something like a month to answer this one.

Sadly, things are truly terrible at my house right now. While strenuously reassuring me that I have not failed and it is not my fault, the vet has also confirmed that my dear, sweet little kitty is now definitely, irreversibly, terminally ill and should die before too long -- should, as in if he doesn't on his own fairly quickly, we will need to call someone on the list she gave me of vets who make house calls to come and put him down to prevent his further suffering. She said not to wait.

A beer of any kind would be good right now, but I've been crying so much I think I'd just vomit it up.

Honestly, giving up part of a leg is nothing -- NOTHING -- compared to this. And this isn't even the first time I've been through it. And I am handling it with zero grace. And I don't care who knows.

Ron Sullivan


Poor cat, and poor you. I myself cried like a damfool when I took Bernie to the vet the last time, and she wasn't even technically my cat. Fortunately we had a good friend who knew enough about losing critters to insist on driving us both there and sitting with Joe and me and some good whiskey that night. I still miss Bernie, and that was 15 - 20 years ago. She was such a sarcastic ol bitch; just my type.

And never mind the "grace" stuff, you get to handle the shit life throws at you any way you want -- or can. You can take the vet's word that it's none of your doing, right? For what that's worth.

Damn, though.


Thanks, Ron.

Yes, we can both accept what the vet told me about it not being my fault. We are not ready to put him down yet, though, not while the days are so heartbreakingly beautiful, filling the house with gentle breezes and birdsong, not while he can still sit in a square of sunlight on my studio carpet embracing it with his whole frail body and purring, not while he can still sit alert and entranced by mice rooting through dirty dishes on the stove in the middle of the night or daring to attempt forays into his own dishes only to have to break and retreat with the discovery that the enemy is not yet quite as weak as they thought, and certainly not while he can still ask me for things like a hug or a ride to a different part of the house. He's going to lose each of these attachments, though, maybe one by one, preferably all at once, but either way it's going to suck. It already sucks. But we just can't bring ourselves to deny him any of them just because it hurts us to see him so weak. We don't think he's in pain, just very, very tired. We still hope he will just slip away on his own.

Heck of a thing to have to hope for on behalf of your best friend.

I always hoped my cats would all die in their sleep five minutes before I did. No such luck, apparently.


I went through that with my little best friend, my dog who died a few years ago. She was sick a long time and would have good days and bad. I'd leave the house worried sick that I'd come home and she'd have died and when I'd get back she'd be wagging her tail and wanting to play. Then she'd be sick again and I'd be wondering when I might have to take her in to the vet the last time. God love her, she died at home peacefully with me there one morning. And by then I was happy to see her struggles end. But I don't regret caring for her over those last months and all it took out of me. She went when she was ready.


Thank you, Leslee. This is the kind of outcome we are hoping for as well. Meanwhile, our house is like a cat hospice.

And you know, it's okay. We don't really have anything better to do than this right now, and goodness knows he deserves it. The pain of losing him is a killer, but we are trying to make it as easy, natural, and loving for him as possible.

It's what we would want for ourselves, or for anyone else we loved.

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