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So. Of those relationships that I considered a given, many have disappeared in the last five years, and for the better. Still, I’ve felt even more orphaned than normal, with a high base-level feeling of “you freak.”

I graduated from college in 2014 (GO TEAM!), and began rebuilding me, my self image, my own story. As one does. Got the job at the gallery, gave up a job that was going to give me a heart attack, generally did the “no, don’t do that stupid stuff anymore” thing.

Working at the gallery, NICE people omg nice, sanity/balance coming back, yada yada.

We were eating lunch yesterday at work. A person peeled and segmented an orange to share, which we did, and then another person picked up a piece of peel and ate it.


And then last night some of us went to see “Loving Vincent,” and the person sitting next to me quietly sang along to the closing music, “Starry Starry Night,” and I realized I was home.

So there! ten years of my life that sucked. You lose.


Furrows in the sky, planting snow.



So, chopping up a pumpkin to roast to make pie out of. Many interesting things.

If you rinse the innards, they are less slippery, which is totally a game changer in this houseful of people that DO NOT LIKE SLIMEY THINGS.

And here comes a memory! One specific Halloween, carving pumpkins, and Dad spreading them out to dry, and then roasting them. I think it only happened once, but maybe it was just the first time, that stuck in my head. I think probably ’61, ’62. My dad was suppressed in our household. Mom didn’t like sauerkraut, so Dad never got to have it, except that time he went to the grocery store and bought a can of sauerkraut and a polish sausage and made his own damn dinner like a grown-up.

Family dynamics! Suppressing things till you blow up! No wonder.

Anyway. One last little piece of pumpkin that didn’t fit into the two pans, so I microwaved it. Pumpkin tastes totally different when it sits there in a bowl all by itself without sugar and spice and everything nice, like a pie crust that is 32% saturated fat by volume.

Tomorrow we turkey. (schedules should not totally block a feast of eating all the things.)

With lightning bugs for eyes.

Scan 2017-10-27 18.22.16

Sorry for the bad scan. I don’t have photo processing stuff for now. It began as a normal line drawing, and then the dots took over. It’s better in real life.

Storm! Wind! Biggish branches in yard! Water over the highway! It’s supposed to snow tonight, but the Maple Tree (minus a couple of branches) loses all its leaves 2 days before the first snow. And that hasn’t happened.

I did a B&W thing on Facebook – twice, actually, but I haven’t finished the second round. But I like this one a lot.

IMG_0561 2iPhone, exposed and processed. I might print this one.

And maybe gauge.

I might be buying a house. It is beautiful and shiny. The owners mentioned the asbestos pipes in the condition report, and now I have to move small mountains to get financing. I am superstitious, and think that things that take huge effort and stress to get are probably going to suck, once I get them. But the kitchen! And the windows! And the sun porch! And the town!

And now, because of this sense of doom, I am looking at other houses in this town which is very scary and maybe I’m focusing too much on the negative, but I’m also realizing what level of apprehension I’m at whenever I’m out of the house. But the houses I’m looking at are in better condition and are cheaper, but nowhere’s near as romantic.

I did a couple of small trips today, and flipped off three drivers. I posted and then deleted things on Facebook that were too intense! At which point I decided I might be cooked. But! I also went into a yarn store to buy bamboo needles for a futzy project (mini-mittens for xmas decorations), and walked out with only one random skein of yarn. Balance is everything.


Out in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, walking the bank of the Little Missouri, I stepped in deep. I was wearing sandals, and in pulling my foot out I yanked the straps right off my sandal. I think I left that sole there.

Anyway, it’s all kind of like pulling my head out of the darkness that seems to be consuming – me? I don’t know, just all that whirring sound that goes on. I should update my blogroll. I should clean the house. I should give you all something else to think about.

I got a reconditioned iPhone 5. As long as I don’t store it head down, it’s brilliant. I got into a 7-day B&W thing on Zuckerberg’s money-maker, and that got me out taking pictures, for which I am very grateful.




Picnic table at Cornucopia. We went swimming in the Lake 10 days ago, the latest in the year I’ve gone swimming. Dune restoration area. There’s paths down to the beach that would probably be overgrown in a year, if people quit using them.

I’m not knitting because of a combination of factors; sore hands, don’t-wanna-do-the-next-thing, don’t think I have enough yarn for the other next thing, hey how about weaving? and last but not least – shouldn’t you be doing housework? However, I’m finding stalling to be boring and irritating at the same time. I will start doing things soon.

I’ve watched Wonder Woman 6 times now. It just gets better and better.

Actual conversation I had with myself today:

me: don’t do that, it’s kinda psycho.

me: yeah, but only kinda psycho.

me: Jeez, Kirsten!

So, I didn’t do it.

Can you tell that I’m in an in-between place? Annoying.


Drawing lines in paint on paper. Very soothing.

And one of her Dobermans, and now I see the shadow of the head of the photographer, who is probably my dad. Old old photo – WWII era, probably. Faded to a tobacco color, scanned and lightened and desaturated. The dark edges were hidden behind a mat, in a frame that also had an old old photo of a man – I think my grandfather. At some point I want to color it. Also, my mother had red curly hair, and great clothes.

I found this in a box of books out in the garage. I have no idea how it got there or why. Augh! my mother, and our relationship, and how she never knew how much I admired her, even if I wasn’t the daughter she wanted. So beautiful, so brilliant, so shouldn’t have been a stay-at-home mom. I’m sorry I wasn’t more supportive.

I also now know that I have to go through all those boxes that have been sitting there since I moved here in 2009 (Cool; less than a decade!). I also found a newspaper from 1942, and a couple of Readers’ Digests from 1937 and 38. And kids’ books. I know what to do with those. Yay for co-workers with babies!

Every time I open this blog up and see “Dotted Yellow Line” I remember how awful those years were, when I started it. Stalked by a brain-damaged alcoholic former fiancé (totalled my car, turned my life into a country-western song) (sounds worse than it was, maybe. Maybe not), Daughter at college and sliding into an abyss with no way to tell me how bad it was (she’s just coming out of that depression now – lots of bullying), working as a janitor to be closer to said Daughter, and driving an hour one way to work, ex-husband telling people (in a small town, pretty much everybody he came in contact with) that Daughter has Asperger’s because I am a lithium addict (??? Yeah, no. Lithium is a salt. You can’t get addicted to salt.), and that I let above-mentioned boyfriend have sex with Daughter. Oh, yeah, and he (ex) killed my dog. It all feels like the sound of those scenes in The Shining that were recorded in a walk-in freezer – my bones hurt and I was all alone.

Man. Hard times. But now I have that photo of clouds over the Lake up by Cornucopia, and I can learn a new association, change that feeling to new road trips and better times.

“I can walk with my feet and hear with my ears.” Is that what River Tam said?I’m better now, actually good, and the sun is shining. So fuck it, and let’s dance.



I’ve been driving up to Cornucopia, to hang out at the beach for sanity purposes. That dark line is open water. The week before, open water started at that farthest ridge, which was loose chunks of ice rising and falling with the waves. I stand in the wind and imagine that all the terror and fear and anger is being blown out of me and dispersed. It works.


A sleeping horse.


There were the customary gulls. This white feather against the russet sand exposed by wind blowing away the white snow, which could be a haiku, if I worked on it.

Maybe I’ll go up there again tomorrow.

In other news, all that stuff last time about iterations? I was doing something and not paying attention and turned on the burner under that cutting board. All I got to say is, thank goodness for smoke detectors.

I think my entire life has been one huge karma lesson about letting go. Or maybe everybody’s life is, and I’m just thinking I’m special. I should let go of that.

And also in letting go; we did passport applications. Word to the wise; don’t let that self-important weirdo from the post office take your photo. If I don’t get arrested and deported on the basis of that image, I will be stunned. (We’re not planning on going anywhere, but I have been told several times that it’s a good idea in this particular age of the world.)

how to write haiku

pieces of place and season

you stop to observe

Maybe I should use it for something.


Scenes from Chequamegon Bay, Friday afternoon.

Dumb weather. I am a little frustrated with this spring. Also cloudy skies. But the fire danger has dropped from Don’t Breathe! to very low. I’ve been janitoring at work a lot, because the printer I need to work from is down, and it’s starting to annoy me – except for some dumb reason I am proud of how good the classroom looks. I am doomed to scrub forever. (I even pulled the fridges and swept and mopped behind them. Gads.)


These are a lovely shell pink IRL, but warm-light CFLs will have their way with things.


I was on the phone. I took a chance. And then I opened Gimp. Opened it like a pro, if I do say so myself.

I was at the happy job today, washing the front windows. A woman walked by, our eyes met, we smiled. Because we live in paradise, and we know it.