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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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The Goldfish

Hope you have (had) a lovely day. The house I grew up in had lilacs in the back garden so lots of nostalgia associated with those flowers and the smell of them.

Congratulations on the new foot. :-)

bleeding espresso

Jesus, Barbie, and lilacs. What a post!

So happy your new leg is working out well :)

Jen of a2eatwrite

Enjoy your walk and your Sunday and I'm delighted the leg is working out!

Kay Olson

Do folks who are less pasty white get the same pinkish-skinned foot? I suppose you should be grateful the prosthesthic artiste didn't add toe hairs or bunions, eh?

Love the lilac photos. I can smell them from here, even though my actual nose does little smelling these days.


Goldfish: As you now know, it was outstanding. And thanks!

Michelle (BE): Thank you! Yes, it is a huge improvement, even though it's giving me some boo-boos while I get used to it.

Jen: Thank you!

Kay: You can get a custom "cosmesis" (cosmetic cover -- and yes, it makes me laugh when they call this "cosmetic") if your insurance will cover it (not often) or if you have the cold hard cash. My prosthetist used to work for an outfit in New Hampshire, and the first time we met he showed me a sample foot cover that someone there had made that was an exact duplicate either of the missing foot or the opposite foot. It had every wrinkle, every freckle, as perfectly reproduced as artistically possible. It may have had every hair; I can't remember. It STILL didn't look real, but it was a very good effort, kind of on a par with what you might see created for someone to wear on his or her face in a movie or TV show where a character ages or is horribly injured or is an alien from outer space. Kind of like that.

It was made of some soft, fleshy material, but it had no skeletal structure inside; I think I was even told this particular one was never meant to be walked on as it had been made for a wheelchair user. Without any internal structure whatsoever, though, it jiggled alarmingly and completely creeped me out.

It is possible to get my particular "costmetic" cover in a not particularly human-looking dark brown, as well. If you are any other shade than shown, I guess you're out of luck if you end up using this specific foot. Still, at least we can choose from two shades.

I am ever so slightly tempted to ask for the dark brown one, just for kicks.


Oh, and Kay, I almost forgot:

I have to describe for you the range of scents, because it was not just the colors of all the lilacs at the Arboretum yesterday that were so diverse, sometimes subtly, sometimes obviously, but also the fragrances.

The ones pictured here, by my front steps, have a good, medium-strong, basic sweet lilac scent, strong enough to waft in through our windows upstairs. But some of the lilacs at the arboretum seemed to have no scent at all. At first I thought it was just white lilacs, but this was not the case. There was one white lilac that had, as BLC put it, a very light, somewhat "green" version of the typical lilac scent. There was another where I could swear I detected a hint of citrus, very faint, but there. And then there was the whole range of "basic" lilac from medium strength to strong, deep and intense, almost enough to make one swoon, happily. Some of the stronger scents were in paler flowers, though, and some of the lighter were in darker ones. You just had to go right up to each one and stick your nose right in it like a big bee to be absolutely sure.

And the whole park -- like much of New England this week, actually -- had a perfume to it, no matter where in the park you were, just because there are so very many things in bloom right now. We have all the flowering fruit trees but also lilacs, wisteria, magnolias, peonies, violets, viburnum... I wouldn't be at all surprised if you could smell it all the way in Minnesota, even if only in your mind's nose, just because we are all enjoying it here so much that our pleasure must be radiating elsewhere, and far.


Virbinium! That's what blooms down the street and smells so heavenly! Bless you.


Isn't it delicious? Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that the only reason I know what it's called is that I actually planted this one. Just after we moved here we went to Lowe's, and I was walking through the gardening section when I caught a whiff of this scent. I simply had to have it, so I tracked it down and bought the plant.

Ron Sullivan

Couldn't get a tentacle, huh? Dang. How about a cloven hoof? I'd go for a cloven hoof.

Mmmm, scent. Fewer lilacs here but w e met a mock-orange (a Philadelphus hybrid called 'Belle Etiole') in the UC Davis Arboretum on Sunday that just made me drool. I stood there with my nose in a blossom for an unseemly amount of time and then couldn't resist licking it. (Faintly sweet.)

There's a white-flower garden there that includes a cow parsnip (a big native umbellifer, like Queen Anne's lace on steroids), which I thought was pertty imaginative, and lots of scented stuff. Lovely to stroll through!


Ah, yes, all-white gardens are very lovely indeed. Very soothing. And I know what you mean about wanting to lick lilacs. They look like candy; they smell like candy; uh...? I have heard of people eating sugarded violets, and my favorite French candy is a violet pastille, but I wonder if anyone sugars lilacs?

I did not think to ask for a tentacle! Maybe if it was an arm I needed, not a leg, I would. A cloven hoof would be cool, too, but I don't think the Commonwealth would be happy to pay for me to have one. This new leg, including the Barbie foot, has already cost the Commonwealth over $22K.

Ron Sullivan

Perhaps the Commonwealth might consider an arts grant.

Now's the time to try sugaring lilacs, I'd think. Might want to be sure they're edible, of course. I'm fond of nasturtium flowers (nonsugared) myself, and the petals of pineapple guava flowers.

The Berkeley Bowl produce store sells trays of mixed edible flowers, trays of edible violets, and outrageously expensive trays of edible orchids. Bunches of chiveblossoms.

And ramps. Which reminds me: I need to go back for more, soon, while they're in season.

Mustard flowers are tasty, but I can't imagine having to buy them.

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