Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Life with Catahoulas web comic number 1

Our UPS Lady was a bit confused this Christmas Eve!
They'd both bark, if they could.
I think the goat was trying to bark anyway!

This is the first 'Life with Catahoulas' web comic strip.  Enjoy!
I'll try to update every week, Monday or Tuesday

I've been talking about 'life with catahoulas' for years, since we have five of them, all with different personalities.  Besides them, we have a German shepherd puppy, a Bluetick hound, four cats and a goat that get into the mix.  There's always something going on.

Jumpstart January

January begins tomorrow, and it is time to Jumpstart.  This year I have signed up for three things to do every day, although two of them might be accomplished at the same time.

1.) I will practice my Welsh
2.) I will find an art material, device or book each day that I have in my possession and give a review or demonstration of it, either with photos or with video, and post that to share.
3.) I will do some sort of art sketchbook or project every day even if it is a small one like my friend who does a single comic pane every day.

I did this sketchbook page yesterday, it reminds me a bit of the Farscape television show I had been watching.  And I did practice my Welsh, even though it isn't quite Janaury yet.

Materials :

This was done with Sakura Micron pens over colored pencil.
Micron pens are my absolute favorite for outlining and they come in several tip sizes, marked on the top of the caps.  My favorite size to do this sort of outlining is .45mm marked with a '08' on the cap.

My Absolute Favorite Pen
Buy a Package of 3 on Amazon to save and always have one on hand.

I am also reading this lovely book 'The Book of Delights', which is a collection of essays about one or many things each day that the author found 'delightful' and how he is more and more walking through the world feeling the delight in things around him and the joy of being alive.  Check it out below.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

'Hey Diddle' 16x20 painting original acrylic on canvas
See it at Etsy Shop free shipping 
 some photos I took in Kentucky the other day have this weird steel blue look to the fields.. I want to paint something

a baby tiger painting on a piece of paneling Esme helped me with a few months ago
It is listed for sale at mariemeyer.etsy.com

A new thing I am trying on Twitter - #tenminutesketch Ten minute sketches of something that has caught my eye for the day.  I am Marie Lamb on Twitter, https://twitter.com/MarieLa60779033

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Aliylah 's Bird painting

In October I met a sight-impaired little girl that blew me away, she was such a sweetheart, a talker, knew all her letters and watched the Pocoyo films on my tablet telling me about the things going on.  She kept saying she liked my glasses and climbing into my lap.  We played in my notebook, and she made a scribble that I turned into a bird with a heart in its chest (Seen below).  I came across the sketches yesterday when going through my office and said there is something here, a nice memory, too - I want to make this into a painting.'

So this is called Aliylah's bird, after that little girl.

and a sketch in paint over a colored pencil base of our cat

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas 2019

Everyone is safe from the Yule Cat this year, new shirts and socks.  Grandma got a knitted triangle shawl I made since Thanksgiving, some socks, and a book I hope she will like.  I had a local shop embroider 'powered by redstone' on a hoodie for Esme, and she really liked the font they used.  Mark and Esme hunted down a black shirt for me and Grandma found some really cool knitted fingerless gloves and a hat that actually matched it well (without her knowing it did). 

We got Esme the game she wanted for Minecraft Story Mode season two, and some in-game perks she wanted to buy.  Overall,  we kept it really simple.  There is a tankless water heater we are going to install that will bring our electric bill way down we hope.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Revivified Workspace

(done shots at bottom)

 this morning
 getting closer

 painting I did last night to complement the drawing from the other morning
I finally was able to get the easel  and all the paints back together upstairs and in a good spot

just have a bit more sorting out to do and  I will have a choice of three different surfaces to work at and the painting station or sewing machine or reading computer work at the desk  This will allow more than one project to be 'out' at any time and not being messed up by the others or in anyone's way

Esme's desk, printer papers, coats and part of the books we are going to be putting back on the shelves.  A crochet project out and getting progress done on it row by couple of rows, some drawing materials out to take a sketch as the thought comes, clipboards on the wall one for my remodeling program and the other for my daily to do's, the medical device side job I picked up and writing odd bits of poetry/sayings on

And the big wide space in between it all.  And the light coming in.  And no huge wall of stuff enmasse behind me.  It all really does have an effect, on mood, on productivity, and on motivation.

Little other things, that don't really 'bother' me when they aren't here, but make it nicer when they are - my covered wooden dish Bev's husband made, my cat drawing that I wanted up somewhere, the favorite camelhair brushes that were lost in the mix and suddenly showed up once I started sorting everything to its spaces...nuclear physics books and star charts and other things that although I don't 'need' them and I rarely even look at them, they are there and sometimes I used to take a break and go 'eye wander' chemical equations and math and stars and ancient art and then go back to my drawing board and have new ideas.

Monday, December 23, 2019

five am image

dream image this morning... and a bit of writing that came as I drew it "It is so much in the nature of things such as these to be mostly silent until the wind blows out the seeds to their rightful places"

Can you tell I'm reading Stoic philosophy?  I've got a book off of Kindle Unlimited about positivity and finding your best path, and it is all about the Stoic philosophy.  I also have a book of Seneca that I need to get back to the public library that I should finish reading first -- if I can.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

crochet and drawings

strawberry ice cream and cake.. maybe.  the two color mix I'm doing with a cone of red yarn and the shiny tan yarn is a little like a christmas sugar cookie with red sprinkles...

I couldn't find any more of the off-white yarn at either store, so now I've got to decide to break up the pattern or continue with the white and have just that one area with the off-white... I'm thinking I'm going to mix the white and the tan yarn together there and then do it again on the other side, and that will allow me to do something else 'on both sides' that is alike as well... maybe pink mixed with the tan after that.  I was roaring along did all of what you see here in one day and then I came to a standstill because I wasn't sure how to proceed or if I should rip out.

The tan yarn in the big skein is part Alpaca.. from an old cache of statsh yarn.

 study of a cat that won't sit still - slightly abstracted

 drawing a memory of the 1940s house with the barrel stove and the brick wall... I will have to do from another angle so I can get the German wooden cuckoo clock above the chair by the window to the right of all of this.

bits of workspace

 bad picture from my cellphone, but we are making more progress on getting me more 'flat open workspace'.. have a countertop going to put on that left wall and everything will even out better and give me more space to work on toys, quilts and drawings, and more wall space to put up clipboards, bulletin boards, a rotating painting and thoughts so I can use my 'brain mapping' method of linking ideas and projects

Friday, December 20, 2019

bits of yarn

was cleaning out the crannies of the yarn drawer to transfer things to my new boxes and found a few things I wanted to try the colors against each other....the red cone and the tan shiny yarn made a Christmas cookie like color together

since the other day someone asked me if I sell crochet blankets and I have none made up that I can say are available... it isn't wasted time.  Was also planning trips for three little installs I need to make next week (Christmas yeep) and was calling about a big remodel we might bid on after the first of the year...


What progress you ask, have I made?  I am learning to be my own friend.  (Seneca, Letters from a Stoic, quoting Hecato).

It is Friday.  I did some more knitting yesterday, and woke up three times in the night with my hands numb in the first three fingers but it went away.  *blows air up face*  I finished the washcloth and put several more inches onto the lap blanket.

I helped Mark pull wires through the attic and ceiling, and he took all of his computers downstairs, while keeping the internet to the computers upstairs.  That was a feat.  I am looking frward to having some extra space up here soon that I can organize my own things.  I want larger areas of workspace that are not all stuffed with boxes, and wall space I can hang up 'to do' clipboards for different subjects, another bulletin board and tape up drawings and ideas to keep my head organized.  I don't like having so much 'above' my head in a room - especially heavy and packed things... I said  I should write a book about the differences in our workspaces.. wrote a little this morning from my point of view, get some interviews from others to see what they think etc.

Esme is now on break for WEEKS.. until January the 6th.
My big project begins December 30th.

For some reason I dreamed of tapioca last night.
In retrospect - I was trying to make this Tapioca pudding recipe but without the spices, and on a stove top.  It came out like a mush that was between fried potato and something else.  I'll add I've never cooked this in my life, but the ingredients match up

I was mixing tapioca powder with butter and sugar and egg to make a fried dish for my siblings (of which I had four, all younger than I in the dream, not real) and trying to cook beans and greens and other things in another pan at the same time in another room to get the meal together on one big plate for us all to split - because mother would not be home and there would be no food if I did not make it.. and it was a small amount of everything but it was what we had and I was the only one who could cook.  The tapioca thing was very strange... I do not cook with that don't even know what I was making but in the dream I did.

In a later dream I was looking all over for something to eat at a school I was attending, some trip we were on to a college etc.. and I saw 'tapioca chicken, 14.00' on a menu, and was then looking around in all of the other food court areas and vending machines and little convenience store for tapioca pudding or something like it that wasn't expensive because that was what my mind was set on... eventually when I found somewhere half of the boxes on the shelf had been split open and dried long ago and only the few on the top were anywhere near negotiable for food anymore.. and I took all of the boxes off the shelf and left them on the counter in a goopy mess so that someone would see it, embarrassed to be leaving a mess but thinking that someone had better know about it because it had obviously been going on so long...

my dreams apparently are so very cinematic.  I started the childhood trauma book last week and was sorting through some of my anxieties.. my mom has showed up in my dreams since then.  But it is different.  I don't wake up afraid or guilty or needing to rescue her...mostly I'm confused and some pretty silly stuff has happened that let me know immediately that the dream 'mom' is not my mom and my brain is doing some strange song and dance working things through.  last night she was a baby shirley temple style in a blue dress dancing at the edge of my bed flouncing her ruffled skirts up and kicking her knees up saying 'do you see me now?'  after popping her head down from the ceiling and scaring me out of sound sleep like the heads in Spirited Away that bounce around in the witche's lair

Thursday, December 19, 2019

simple crafts

A few simple crafts I've been doing.  I've been kind of too busy everywhere to do anything intensive so I feel like these could be 'fancier',..  the knitting is a stress relief type thing so it needs to be about as simple as I can take it.

I like the bird, even in its simplicity.  The beads were in my craft box and I stuck them on for prosperity (seeds)

Other bits.. moving lots of stuff in the office here... getting back some wall space soon I hope... survived Memphis yesterday and it still feels like it was a week ago.  nightmares last night but none about that.. spurred by an article a guy rescued a bunch of rabbits that were going to be skinned for meat and in the dream I could not even rescue two that a cooking instructor was going to demonstrate a recipe with - all I could do was run away and hope that wasn't what was served in the cafeteria later, but it probably would be.... and then a whole bunch of other incomprehensible storylines that had one good moment where I was at a hydrant, washing a dish, looking at a swamp lake at sunset and thinking it was a perfect place to be, simple... but knowing it was just a moment and I would have to go back into the 'longhouse' where all the people were and nothing there was simple

Monday, December 16, 2019


It was raining and pouring this morning.  Lightning.. Nature's distant show of force, Esme says this morning that cultures all over the world have been frightened of it, it is coming to get you on the ground, the sound in the air etc...  She jumped a little bit when the flashing lights of the bus seriously reminded us of the lightning from a few minutes before.  Even our dogs look out the door at the rain, worry, hear the sound and then run back up the stairs.  A moment before they were doing the 'dog circus' dance four sets of paws dancing and stepping in a rhythmic beat as good as any alarm clock... come downstairs, open the door!  As I return from the bus stop, the remarkably orange and fluffy cat sits in the threshold hiding from the wet and asking plaintively to get inside.  I walk up the stairs and reach for the handle, shaking the wet off of myself, as well.  Mark asks why I am now taking Esme up in the car every morning, instead of walking like years previously.. well, accept that I've changed my mind.  The weather has been seriously terrible lately... bu at least it is not snow.

Sunday, December 15, 2019


Been getting a lot of things done, have more on the remodeling job to do this week, and then we can get started on it december the 30th.  A few Christmas presents finished and wrapped up.  Things are going along..  Mark has walls and floor finished in his office - we will be moving desks and computers down there this week, too.  After that the upstairs office will be mine and I'll have to figure out how to organize it.

Friday, December 13, 2019

watching the moon rise over the trees

wax a bit poetic this morning.. just because...sitting here with my oatmeal and my coffee and my book... 

Watching the moon rise
in the morning, purple over the sumac
that has been washed of its red hue
in the last winter storm
drying now held up like torches on the branches
waiting for the snow to come
to make their color more vibrant
against the white that would cover the world
and make silent the sound of footsteps in the air

The moon is rising
I make it rise more by standing on the hill
frost in the grasses around me
the cold air pulling at my ankles and wrists
watching the frost sheen in the sky
blur the circle of the moon
to a fuzzy ball of light

Snow on the moon
that is what they called it when I was young
I am hoping it will come and go quickly
and not coat the roads in ice
dangerous black swaths
freezing the commerce and rhythms of city life
upon which we still depend
although now I have more freedom to enjoy  a day of snow
it does not stab fear into my heart as badly
as it once did

Still, like creatures of warmth are want to do
I wish it away for as long as it will hold
praying for spring and summer
to release us from the cold
and back to life and growing things
the revolution of the days towards light
lasting into long evenings
warm with Nature's hope

Had a couple of weird dreams last night, one a nice philosophy lesson and the other a good story idea.  The philosophy lesson was that no matter even if I have to drag a twisted and broken limb in pain through a ten story building and keep getting told 'your destination is elsewhere' the real me - the me that is in my dreams - steels herself up, grits her teeth and keeps going just trying to get to the right place to do whatever I am supposed to do.  The story idea is little demons that are in your rent-a-center products that then become poltergeists of a type that enjoy watching the home shopping network and knocking figurines off your shelves (bought from HSN) and they masquerade as cats that defy the rules of physics etc.... there's something there.

Listening to some music, waiting for my nerve pain in the tooth to calm down.  I just got 'Letters from a Stoic' by Seneca (roman philosopher) and I am going to spend a little time with that until my side-contract package gets here and I have to schedule those installations.  I made some good progress with my bath remodel last night.  Bought a big pipe wrench today to add to my toolbox - lightweight, too.  Working on the extended business plan this afternoon, probably going to do those installations tomorrow if I can swing it. Several things to do Sunday.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Doing lots, working on things here and there.  Wrote some more - the weekly writer's prompt was for 'lace curtains' and that reminded me of something from when I was four that was kind of sad, so I won't post it here.  I'm wondering if I should add it to my anthology.  I am planning on putting the Christmas tree up tomorrow.

I am working on some knitting, have to decide what to do for the office organization upstairs here.  I installed a faucet on Monday and it went well.  The big shower arrived today and I have to contact the installer to talk about timing.

Saturday, December 07, 2019


There is a lie I tell myself about pain because it was told to me when I was young.  I was told that whatever pain I was feeling, it was not more than anyone else around me, there was no way it could be, because I was too young to feel joint or bone pain and it would get worse when I was truly old.  I found out that it was a lie when I was about seventeen and fractured my wrist.  It hurt, but I was not screaming.  It hurt like something was wrong, and since the tae kwon do instructor saw the injury, he had called my parents to bring me to the emergency room.

When I got there, they took x-rays.  Then the nurse looked me over and she had a weird look on her face.  She asked me how much it hurt.  I said something was wrong that they should check it out, but that if I held it, it was probably okay.  She grabbed my wrist and banged it on the table and I yelped, and then continued my normal tense-grit-teeth after that.  She went and got the doctor and they explained my arm was fractured and would need a brace for three weeks at least.  Not only that, but there was evidence that my wrist bad been badly fractured before, and not treated.  I couldn't recall any 'serious' time except when I jumped out of a treehouse when I was eight, after having been left there by my cousin and siblings and Mom was having a freak out because I would not answer her yells.

I don't remember ever anything more than 'don't hurt yourself, stop crying, of course it hurts you jumped out of the treehouse'.. and holding my wrist the same way I do often to make it feel better.  So the lie is that I can feel more pain than others and still look the same as they do, mostly act the same as they do, and unless things are actually falling off or septic, I very well might be nursing a broken bone or holding a cut shut with medical tape and it would be very hard for anyone to tell at all unless they know exactly what to look for, or bang my arm on the table.

But when I actually do get to the point where something hurts very badly, like a tooth or a joint out of place.. I still find myself repeating the pain lie to get through it.  Other people feel this way all the time - it will go away - this is normal pain.  But the part my doctors and dentists don't seem to understand is that the pain sometimes does go away - temporarily.. through a pressure point? or nerve deadening or some mental trick... I can function.  That confuses all of my descriptions of pain, because honestly it is hard to judge what is going on even from my own point of view.

I had someone notice yesterday I was using a pressure point unconsciously to stop my wrist from hurting after a hard strain.  I knew what she was talking about but was not aware I was doing anything but 'holding the hurt' as I do.. but yes, that is a key pressure point for pain for the arm and shoulder and I was holding it down to make it feel better.  I can't even properly metabolize most pain medications - so they aren't going to help..  it is lucky to have sometimes found something 'zen' or Jedi that does work.  I sometimes press on my jaw or neck on one side when the teeth are hurting, and that is another pressure point, right there.  So it isn't all bad, but it does lead to some bad things like living with tooth abcesses etc which could turn out to be something much worse untreated than a fractured wrist.


Put Yourself Together
To awake in the morning and have your limbs revolt,
joints snapping, popping and tendons screaming
from the things you have done the day before
and the day before that
each part forming a symphony
and to say hush
we're doing this


Finished the project.  Eventually we can have ONYX on all of it, 
but for now, this is better than what was there.

Friday, December 06, 2019

home projects

 Step 1 : remove all the original board (see below), and remove all the caulk off the side of the bathtub - it was black and thick and took acetone and a lot of knife time.

 Silicone the new tile down, cut to size, and add some PVC molding to cover up the gaps - I didn't miter the corner because it actually goes back a bit into that hole.  It is much, much better than what was there (see below)

Thursday, December 05, 2019

The Shadow of the Bird

There was a bird clinging to the side of a tree, digging in with his claws facing the sunrise.  It's shadow was hard and dark just underneath it, against the bark of the tree.  I saw it dig in even harder with its feet at the moment just before it launched itself into the air.  The physical bird flew upwards and away.  At the same time its shadow lightened to a fuzzy smear, falling down the tree towards the ground, but disappearing into nothingness.

It surprised me.  It felt wrong at first, like I had been tricked.  It felt wrong at first, even though I knew in my brain that science should produce exactly what I saw.  That moment was such a normal everyday thing.  Why did I feel surprised?  Have I become that unaccustomed to looking, and really seeing?  As a society, many of us have ceased to go to Nature, and to see these things every day.  It becomes an unusual occurrence, practiced by few.  My instinct had forgotten the truth until I saw it again with my eyes.  How did we get to where watching birds in trees has become a rarity instead of the natural way of things?

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Sunday, December 01, 2019


this morning:

The house is asleep
their brains whirring with something different
than the things that have captured mine
for these hours hence
while the sun was rising
the cold air was chilling me
outside of the blankets
where the others yet slumber warm
twisting and turning
pulling elbows over their faces to
avoid the light in their eyes

My dreams have come and went
and left their marks upon me
to come out as words upon paper
images strange and beautiful
that not many will ever understand as I do
my soul in dreaming tries to figure out
who it is in the night
who it is in always
by telling itself stories
that are powerful and slip away too soon

It is up to me to catch them
like fish in a bowl
and try to see their bones
without taking the life from them

The last time, before this morning, that I had been in a church was 2004.  It was still on a card.  I went this morning, and yes, I cried.  I always cry.  But they respected when I said I wanted to listen, and to hold myself together, and see if there was something for me to hear there.  And I might go back again, if I can keep up some bravery, to continue to see if there is something to hear there.   I went to the place with the door and window that I had thought about for years, always thought was pretty, wondered what it was like... but not because someone told me to go there or it was a tradition or... it just seemed like an honest curious choice to see.  I looked at their website and it was welcoming, said anyone could come, and said when.  That was enough.