Ok, so we've decided to do some renovations here at Squirrel Haven....

This of course, was preceded by some sincere thought...and plotting on my part and countered by some mild posturing of my darling pack rat loverman...who knew that his time was overdue for an overhaul.

Let me preface this story by saying a few things...

I love and adore my home.
I've been at this address for 23 years.
That's a long time for a Gemini, so you must know how awesome that statement is.
The roof leaks in spots.
It's an old house with problems...and yet...
it's HOME.

I also love and adore my husband. 
He is a hard worker.
Harry is a quirky genius, inventor and unconventional...much like that guy who invented "Flubber".
And ....
He is also a self proclaimed pack rat.

Remember Monty Python's movie, "The Meaning of Life"?
Can you envision that that one scene that "every sperm is sacred?"
Well, to a packrat...everyTHING is sacred.
That means...
Every scrap of paper, every paper clip, every thing has more than one useage...and intrinsic value.
It's nearly a moral imperative to not waste anything to him.

Harry is also very busy. He goes from one install to the next event to the next gig without much downtime in between. We drag costuming and gear in and out.

So there you have our life.

There are changes I need to have made.
Some are structural...
some are cosmetic....
some are merely just organizational.

Harry says what we are doing are "decorative changes"
I say, "Nay. They are functional changes."

So, being upfront and candid real a reality tv show...
Here is what our office looked like

This blog is not for the faint of heart.
 Nor the neat freak.

Note please that our whole house does not look like this...but ...
only portions...
and TWO businesses run out of this space.

Well....that's a relative thing.
Fung Shui it's not.

But I've noted that the space has become stagnant and unloved and I personally don't like the living space that has happened here. This is not how I would live if left to mine own devices.
How'ere, I love a man.....
So....I have adapted over the years....
and shite has piled up.
But not by me not bitching about it....

In the interim...and because of the roof leaking...
and frankly...because Harry wants to get laid.....

He has agreed to help me make some changes for US here at Squirrel Haven.
And so we set off to manage some well timed remodeling.

And as you know (if you've ever done any home remodeling...)while we're at it, "we might as well make some other changes" some windows for the weatherproofing, painting a room or two (now that it's disrupted...) and side the back of the house and cover the ugly cinder block that I've lived with for 23 years now.

I can't fucking wait.

But oh...
the nightmare.

There is a cartoon on my bathroom wall. It is a drawing of 2 gates of Hell.
Over one is the sign, "Burn in Hell for all Eternity"
Over the other one is "Live in your home while you remodel it."
The devil looks at the person trying to choose and says: "It's a toss up."

So we've started....

Are you ready?

Are you sitting down?

Here is our office...these are the "BEFORE" pictures"

Note the love seat....

My desk

Harry's desk

This is a job for a stalwart crew.
We hired some help....because frankly....I wasn't gonna kill him over this.

So today, after 2 days of 4 of us working on the assorted projects (friend Joe helped sort stuff outside...friend Christine sorted mountains of Harry's paperwork and saved our marriage by doing what would've made Merlyn ratshite crazy instead.....Harry supervised and worked out his master plan...and I worked around the edges, did errands, went shopping for paint and bookshelves...and I organized areas and fed everyone...).

Here's some pics from today's big job...

We found the loveseat.
(YAY! :)
We extracted it and put it somewhere dry...for safekeeping out of the rain....

We found lots of things....
Like a floor....
a wall....
 a desk....'s not done.
There is a LOT of work yet to do...

But I can't tell you how thoroughly impressed and astounded I am with the progress!!
I am SO PROUD of Harry for letting go...and for him flowing so easily with the changes.

We've picked out and decided on paint colors for the 2 rooms.

I am SO encouraged.
I am happier than I've been in years...
and also more tired than a sore, overworked arthritic witch on a cold night.
Oh wait...

we persevere.

It IS coming along.
It IS daunting.
It IS freeing.

There is so much more to do....
and I will keep you in the loop....
but my dears...

Every great journey begins with a single step.

And sometimes the single step begins with just saying,
"I love you enough to step out of my comfort zone."

This was our front room...but it's going to be painted so we are going to fix this room too while at it...
We are "in transition" .

 Stay tuned

Same Squirrel Time...
Same Squirrel Channel....

Poem~ Venus & The Sailor~ Mag 135

Venus & The Sailor    
(painting/ Salvador Dali, 1925)

Aye, she were a sight
like a Goddess steppin' lightly upon the earth
me watery feet an' body still swayin' from the waves
she rocked me
rocked me sweet and gentle-like
rocked me wild and hard like the tempest she were
I clung for me life
me heart pitchin' and swirlin'
feet skitterin on the deck
then the wave came o'er the side
and I were done
and she were gone
and it were calm again
A 1000 days at sea
to no avail.....
I search for her still.
would that I had kept her that night
that foamy sea tossed ee'en
when she stepped upon me rails

StoryBook Club Tall Tales

This month's StoryBook Club dug out some tall tales from the pages of early America's history.
We read many books on the subject including this one!

After the Revolutionary War and when folks started moving out west, the world became a MUCH bigger place. The outback was wild and wooly indeed. The Pacific Northwest was untamed and the desert was more inhospitable than anything that the colonial frontiersmen had ever encountered.

And they were gonna tame it by God!

Stories flourished about real people that became bigger than life!
Like, Johnny Appleseed, who, by himself planted apple trees across the country. Some say it was because "he wanted everyone to have food" (a noble cause!). Yet others would say that because he didn't believe in grafting, the apples he brought were mostly inedible...but made great cider, so he actually singlehandedly brought alcohol to the West (another noble cause!). Yah, they don't call it "Johnny Jump Up" without reason!

Daniel Boone was another real person, who became larger than life. He had little formal education yet served in the Virginia General Assembly for 3 terms. A book about him made his antics famous. There is even a history of "False Boone Relics" out there.

Davy Crockett is another real person who was a wild frontiersman who went into politics and became Representative of Tennessee in the House of Representatives, served in the Texas Revolution and died in the Battle of the Alamo. He was another person (like Daniel Boone) who became famous in his own lifetime!
While Davy Crockett probably didn't "kill a bear when he was three", he probably DID make himself famous with lines like these: ""I'm that same David Crockett, fresh from the backwoods, half-horse, half-alligator, a little touched with the snapping turtle; can wade the Mississippi, leap the Ohio, ride upon a streak of lightning, and slip without a scratch down a honey locust tree."  Yet he was a man from a rough childhood, was not an educated man and yet became so famous that numerous books and movies were about him.

 Here's the song of his life. You know you want to hear it! :)

Some tales were those that may have been of "composite' people, many folks combined into one story.

Much like the tale of Molly Pitcher and her compassionate care of soldiers during the war. The soldiers called out to her for water by saying, "Molly! Pitcher!" soon gave her the moniker she was handed as she doled out drink for thirsty men and gave them water to swab the barrel of the cannon and clean the ramrod. She took her wounded husband's place at the cannon to continue helping with the fight. There are many places of water and springs named after her to this day!

Then there were tall tales about fictional characters made by advertising people to lure folks out to the Wild West and the frontier with a carnival barkers call to "come see all these amazing things!"

Tales such as Paul Bunyan and Babe the Great Blue Ox who felled trees in the Pacific Northwest, survived the "season of two winters" where even the bedbugs huddled together for warmth. Paul Bunyan straightened out a crooked rode by hitching it to Babe and pulled it straight! He made the Mississippi River and accidentally dug the Grand Canyon by dragging his ax!

Pecos Bill grew up with coyotes, rode a tornado, lassoed with a rattlesnake, and when his horse broke his ankle- Bill carried his horse 100 miles through the desert. But let's not stop there, he met his true love, Slue Foot Sue. She whistled up a huge catfish to ride and would do more work in a morning than most folks could do in a month!

 We talked about these and so much more at Lynn's house with our delicious supper of Americana perfections! A beautiful table was set with colonial items, a granny square quilt and we supped on Roasted chicken, chili, cornbread, cider and apple crisp and cream!

In chatting about all the many tall tales, it was decided that they existed at the time for people to make sense of their new expanding world, to feel like they could "conquer it" somehow and instead of feeling afraid, they tried to make peace with it and understand it.

This caused me to take it forward to project the same philosophy on today's tall tales of Super Heroes and Super Powers. Isn't this the same thing that we do now to understand our world of technology, chemicals, weapons and warfare. Isn't Iron Man a way for us to feel empowered by technology? Wasn't Godzilla just a way for us to comment on radioactivity and fallout? Isn't Spiderman a way for us to feel useful and effective in a world that is almost unfathonable and unscaleable? Isn't Wonder Woman and Cat Woman a way for females to access their inner power for good and for mischief?

Something to think about! Yes, these are our heroes and legends and tall tales for this fearful age so that we may feel useful, capable, adaptable and effective in the face of an inpersonable and unreasonable war machine and politics and mega population.

So that's all the poop I care to spill on tall tales!

Next month for October we are tracking Goblins!!

Be afraid!
Be very afraid!!

Mag 133

                                                     "Summer Night"~  Albert Bloch 1913

Moonlight basks upon us

Bathing us in its silver rays

The night air cools the days worries

Sends them skipping into the night

Lunar cleansing beams free me

Sanctify me

Glorify my soul


Holding your hand 

In the glow of this blue moon

                                                    Is the rarer gift yet

                                    Click here to read other poet's take on this beauteous painting~