Thursday, November 28, 2013

Shop Sale

I thought it was about time for a little sale in the Miz.November shop.  If you only knew how many things I have stockpiled in my workroom, just waiting to be photographed and listed.  It's ridiculous.  But there are plenty of older items that need to find good homes first.  Lots of stocking-stuffer-size art.  Several bags. 

It's the perfect time of year to stay home and shop online.  Coupon code STAYHOME20 will get you 20% off your order through December 2, 2013. 

Happy Thanksgiving!  Spread the love. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Advice to Men

Never marry a woman that will not allow you to see her without makeup. 

I was just perusing the hair and makeup board on Pinterest and was overwhelmed at all the instructions on facial contouring.  One can do amazing things with makeup.  And, hey...who doesn't enjoy a new look every now and then?

But beware of those ladies who never go out by the light of day without full war paint on.  Chances are, she is probably lacking in some very important self esteem and confidence levels. 

Or there is the very real possibility that she does not, in fact, look like a Kardashian. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013


New jewelry is being added to the shop.  
This one went in tonight and there are more in the works. 
And some collaboration pieces with exotic wood elements are on the way, too!
Woo hoo. 

Monday, August 19, 2013


from here.

I read the other day that the Chinese have five seasons.  Aside from the regular four, they also count the end of summer as it's very own season.  That suits me just fine, being that the transition from late summer to early fall is my favorite time of the year. 

I wax poetic about it annually, citing the way the light changes and the dip in the temperature that makes wearing a hoodie the norm again.  Late summer seems to have caught us by surprise here in the mountains this year.  The local weather channel reported that there has only been one weekend without rain in our area since April!  I haven't been swimming, nor have I even donned a bathing suit this year.  And I can hardly even remember what the beach looks or feels like.  I haven't seen the ocean in almost five years. 

The last few years of my life have been a mess.  The world seems to be just like this summers weather; dreary with little chance of sunshine.  But I know that's just the pessimist in me talking.  I know the transition is coming.  I know there will be sunshine and beach trips and hopes and dreams fulfilled.  I know there is good in this life.  And so, I will keep trying.  I will soak up any late summer sun that is left.  I will smile at the cool breezes and the turning leaves.  And just like China, I will count this time of year as a season in itself.  Just like nature, I will consider it an invitation to turn inward for the coming winter and cultivate my soul for the time when it will bloom again. 


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Smart Snacking ~ Chocolate Dipped Apricots

Unlike many people, I do not enjoy cooking.  It is not relaxing to me.  As a matter of fact, I only cook because I like to eat.  Well, that and the fact that I would otherwise probably be kicked out of my family.  That being said, I like simple food.  If a recipe is long and elaborate I won't even give it any consideration. 

I also like to eat healthy.  It just makes me feel better.  Simple as that.  So I thought I would share with you what has become my easy staple snack this summer.  Chocolate dipped dried apricots. 

Dipping apricots in chocolate would have never crossed my mind, but my dad used to be a mail carrier and one of his customers sent some of these home with him one time.  The process is so simple that a kid could do it, but the results are fantastically yummy. 

First, you melt your chocolate in a microwavable bowl in the microwave (of course).  The thought of melting chocolate was always sort of scary to me.  I thought you had to do the whole double-boiler thing and be all careful.  But I'm not that fancy.  The microwave works just fine. 
I prefer Lindt chocolate (70% dark).  It only takes three squares to dip an entire 6 ounce bag of dried apricots.  (I use Sunsweet)  I throw those three squares of Lindt chocolate in my bowl and stick it in the microwave for one minute.  Don't let your chocolate get fully melted in the microwave.  It works best to still have some solid chunks and then just stir it until its all smooth.  That way you don't risk burning it. 

You will need a non-stick surface to put your dipped apricots on.  (I use tin foil.)  Now all you do is swipe those golden nuggets of natural goodness into the chocolate and stick them in the fridge to set. 

Voila!  Now you have a naturally sweet snack waiting in your fridge.  And healthy, too!  Apricots are a good source of Vitamin A and Potassium.  They also aid in digestion and have been reported to help maintain eyesight.  (at least, that's what I've read about them.  I'm not a nutritionist.)  And I don't have to tell you the good news about dark chocolate, right? 

Let me know if you try this snack yourself.  I hope you like them as much as I do. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mostly Rainy

Sunshine seems to be a very rare thing to see around here this summer.  As a matter of fact, it started raining again five minutes after I took these pics.  We broke a weather record.  It's officially the rainiest summer for our area since 1905.  It's raining as I type.  And it flooded again last night.  (third time, so far)  Everything smells musty and wet.  There are sinkholes all over the place.  Trees uprooting everywhere.  It's a mess. 

On the upside, my clematis vine is blooming like crazy and I got to chill in my hammock for a full five minutes the other day.  Awesome. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Seeing Red

Let me introduce you to my lilies. 

They are quite a showy bunch.  They love to be the center of attention.  They happen to be very cheerful and smiley and seem to love to be in their own company. 
Oh, also, they multiply like rabbits. 

When I moved into this house there was one lonely stalk standing in the middle of the place.  That fall I dug that sucker up and divided the bulb.  Fast forward a few years. 
Last fall, when the lilies died down, I dug up and divided the bulbs again (like I have every year).  I filled two paper lunch bags with extra bulbs and gave them away.  So this display that you are seeing is actually only one third of the bulbs that had produced in my flower bed! 

They are currently only occupying this one section that you see in the first pic.  But it is looking like the lilies are going to have to be thinned and spread over the entire flower bed.  I have to say, I am quite proud of these showstoppers.  They really are quite amazing and I just had to share them with you. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Life is Funny

It hasn't even been a week since my surgery and there is already a rumor going around this tiny town that I had a boob job.  I think it's hilarious.  Seriously.  That rumor won't stand for very long.  Haha.  Nope.  Still tiny as ever! 

It honestly cracks me up that people out there heard that I had surgery and the only logical reason that they could possibly come up with is a boob job.  What the bloody hell? 

Life.  It's funny. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Just a Note

So, I made it through surgery without a hitch.  I have a very bruised belly button and two more incisions to prove it.  Unfortunately, I didn't get along so well with anesthesia and was in the hospital well past the expected time of departure.

For anyone wanting to know, I had laparoscopic surgury performed to find out why my girl parts are such bitches.  Turns out, I had endometriosis and quite a bit of scar tissue stitching things together that should not have been stitched together.  But my fabulous doctor lasered that shit out of there like a Jedi knight.  Hopefully, life will be a lot more pleasant from now on.

I was greeted on my arrival home by cascades of pink blossoms on my rose bushes and two beautiful pink peonies blooming for the very first time.  (those are my roses right up there.)   Yay for spring!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Fantasy

from here.

If Blogger cooperates and decides to do what I ask, by the time you read this I will be getting ready to have surgery.  Don't freak out.  It's just minor surgery.  But, still.  I've never been put to sleep before and the thought of it makes me a little anxious.  So, I've been trying not to think about it. 

Hopefully, I will be back to (almost) normal in a few days, although maybe a little loopy from pain pills.  When all is well I will be sure to give you an update.  And if curiosity is just killing you, let's just say that we are doing a little bit of exploring to see what's up with my girl parts. 

Say a little prayer for me if you will.  And I'll see you all on the flip side. 


Tuesday, May 28, 2013


from here.

Sitting here eating Zuma Gold cookies fresh from the oven.  My body has that weird floating and falling feeling that you get from riding roller coasters or playing in the ocean, except that mine is from being in a boom lift all day painting.  Listening to Angels by The xx and Bleeding Out by Imagine Dragons.  I have an unusual urge to finger paint something yellow.  Unfortunately, instead, I am paying bills and finishing laundry.  My head is full and my heart is weak this evening. 

I need something.  Not sure what it is. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Confession and A Question

from here.

While shopping for a pair of sandals today, I realized that I am officially old.  How do I know?  Well, when comfort trumps are old.  I found myself heavily considering buying some hideous looking sandals just because they felt like walking on clouds.  So I did the only sensible thing to do in a situation like that.  I walked away. 

That was my confession, by the way.  Here's my question. 

What do you guys use to buy/download music?  I am in serious need of creating my own cds and I pretty much am not sure where to start.  I know.  Obviously I have been living under a rock and still buying full albums.  Hey, I told you I was old.  But there are some songs that I want to listen to without having to hunt down and buy an entire cd.  Advice?  Pretty please. 

And, you're welcome.  You know.....for the picture.  Yeah. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

What's Been Happening

from here.
I read blogs just about every single day, but I fail to write anything on my own. 

So, for your reading pleasure (whoever is actually reading this), here's a little collection of random musings.

*Do you know when you had your last tetanus shot?  You should.  Last week at work I got a few nails jabbed into my shoulder.  I assumed that my tetanus shot was up to date.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.  I was due a tetanus shot in 1992.  That was a long time ago!  So I got one this morning.  Think it's no big deal until you get cut?  I suggest you Google tetanus.  Seriously.  I mean, do you even know what it is?

*You know how bad I despise cleaning my bath tub, right?  If you don't, then you have never actually read my blog, obviously. mind was completely blown last week when I decided to spray my tub down with my lovely smelling Method multi-purpose cleaner.  I walked away for a few minutes, came back and the gunk just wiped right off of my tub.  Amazing!  Truly amazing!

*One should never assume that customers know anything at all about the business that you are in.  Ever.  We are doing an extensive remodel on a home, which has turned into almost a rebuild, instead.  Just because a customer has a fancy plan drawn up by a supposed "engineer" does not mean that said plan will work or that the customer will understand why you are pretty much tearing his entire house down in order to achieve the house that he expects to get.  Communication, folks.  It's priceless. 

*Hummus has never been on my list of favorite things to eat.  That is, until I tried a local brand that made all other hummus taste like dog food (or what I imagine dog food tastes like).  Roots hummus is so good that I can finish a whole container of it in a few days, all by my little self.  The Extra Spicy Chipotle is my favorite flavor, but Spinach is dang good, too.  

That's all for now, folks.  I'll see you on the flip side. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hell Yes, Boys

from here.
Let me just say, I love a man in jeans and a tee shirt.  There's nothing better, really.  I love the way a soft tee shirt feels when hanging on the strong frame of a man.  And a well chosen pair of jeans..... I'm getting off subject here.  

But every once in a while.......... just every once in a while, it's a perfect suit that gets the heart to pumping.  Don't you agree?  

There is this Fred Astaire movie where Fred is dancing around his room while getting dressed.  He's tapping up a storm and tying his tie (perfectly) all at the same time.  There was a real ease and elegance to what he wore and how he wore it.  He wore the suit.  It did not wear him.  The suits above remind me of the looks that Astaire wore.  Nice and sharp, but with a certain ease.  

I will never dismiss the jeans and tee combo, but you just have to admit that every girl's crazy for a sharp dressed man.  A flattering suit makes quite an impression.  

(clearing throat)  The tattoos sure don't hurt, either.  ;)

Monday, April 1, 2013


from here.

I was talking to a friend in the grocery store last week.  We were discussing our respective divorces and all that comes with that territory.  He said something to the effect of "Well, I guess now you can get more stuff done."  To which I quipped back "I have no choice.  I have to totally rely on myself now." 

It was a tiny little exchange in an otherwise heavy conversation, but those few words brought on a realization that was bigger than everything else that had been running through my head for the past nine months.  I am responsible for my own life. 

In the past, my decisions about everything revolved around the fact that I was married.  I did not call the shots.  What my future looked like was not in my hands.  I was not a co-star.  I was simply a supporting actress.  This was a fact that afforded me to be quite lazy in my endeavors.  But now I have no leading actor to take the spotlight while I waste time and twiddle my thumbs in the corner.  He walked off stage and here I stand with everyone watching and asking "What's she gonna do now?" 

I can't be lazy anymore.  I can't hide behind someone else's hopes and dreams.  I can't just give up and let the tide of life carry me where it may.  I have a life to live.  I have bills to pay.  I have goals and ambitions (believe it or not).  I have a future to build.  And I have to give it my all, because I'm depending on me.  It's trying times, and I must say,'s time for trying.  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


can be purchased here.

One of the things that a divorce inevitably results in is the deep consideration of relationships and what makes them work or fall apart.

Breakups hurt.  Divorces hurt.  And, I think we can all agree, relationships hurt.

I've spent a whole lot of time thinking about what went wrong in my last marriage.  I've tried to pin-point how on earth we went from being in love and happy to the place where one of us was willing to give up completely.

If you think about it, almost every relationship starts out the same way.  There is infatuation and adoration.  Chemical attraction and soaring dopamine levels.  Both parties confess their affection and make promises of devotion and undying love.  But, with time, all things change.  And of all the things that make or break a relationship, I truly believe (from the bottom of my heart) that the very most important component of love is RESPECT.

Many people will argue that trust is the most important quality in a relationship.  But how can you trust one another if you don't respect one another?  You can't.  In my opinion, without respect you have nothing.  You must respect the person you are with and they must respect you.  Once you lose that respect, it is almost impossible to get it back.  And that is where most relationships falter.

The day my marriage died was not a few months before my husband walked out the door.  It wasn't even a few years.  My marriage died when the respect for one another was lost.  And that happened within the first few fragile years of being together.   
We loved eachother very much.  And there were so many good qualities to our relationship.  But without the foundation of respect, we had nothing to stand on.  We were trying to build on sinking sand. 

End of story. 

Friday, February 22, 2013


from here.

Emotions are a funny thing. 
They tie you up.  
They kick your ass. 
They hold you down.
They make you fly.
They cause you to make irrational decisions. 

I try not to let my emotions get 
the best of me.  
I try to recognize where they are coming from,
and then let them go.

That's hard to do sometimes, 
isn't it?
Let your emotions go? 

Yogic philosophy compares emotions to the weather.
Ever changing.  In constant flux.
And we can do nothing about it.  
Our emotions are personal, yes....but they do not define us.  
They are simply an uncontrollable part of the
landscape of the human life. 

It is a beautiful thing, 
human emotion.
It sets us apart from other creatures.  
But we must always remember that we do not control our emotions.
They try to control us. 
And it is up to us to recognize this truth and 
take the reins.

Don't let your emotions decide for you. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

True to You

Some things are just meant to be.
Like me and short hair. 

Pinterest makes me believe that if I grow my hair out it will be beautiful and silky and full of styling potential.  But the truth is, it never turns out that way, no matter how many ways I learn to style it. 

So, it's back to short hair for me.  And I love it!  I look in the mirror and recognize myself once again!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hair Raising Education

from here.
Have you heard the one about the fifteen year old girl who gets kicked out of school because her hair is too Auburn?  It's not a joke.  Read about it. 

I think this is absolutely preposterous!  She didn't dye her hair some sort of Rainbow Bright color.  Just a pretty auburn red.  No big deal.  But apparently the faculty at her school thought it was a big deal.  But why? 

I know.  I know.  This is where teachers and parents everywhere are going to lecture me about the importance of encouraging natural beauty.  About how bright colors are distracting to other students (seriously?).  About having some sort of level playing field on the health and beauty front.  But, really.......what the hell? 

If you can't dye your hair electric blue and wear a tutu over your blue jeans while you're in school, then when can you?!  You all know where I stand on the degradation of our young women.  You know my stand on the unrealistic expectations that they are dealing with in our culture.  But we're talking about hair color here!  The middle school and high school years are when most youth are exploring their own identity.  Pushing fashion boundaries and having fun with their looks.  And I think that's a very important part of growing up.  As soon as they get out of school, these young adults are going to have to get jobs and live in the so-called grown up world.  The opportunity for self exploration will be lost, to a certain extent, or at least greatly reduced.

All I'm saying is this:  They're kids.  We need to be more concerned about keeping them from dangers like sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, and unhealthy body issues.  Let them experiment with their hair, makeup and clothes.  As long as they aren't being vulgar or degrading, what's the harm?  In my own humble opinion, if you let a girl explore her identity in healthy ways with your approval and guidance, then she will be less likely to explore her identity in harmful ways behind your back. 

Click on the link above to read the article.  I want you to see what the mother had to say about the issue.  Way to go, mom!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Once Again.

in my shop.
It's been a rough few months for me.  Hence, my absence. But, quite frankly, I don't want to talk about the negative.  There's plenty enough of that out there. 

I want to talk about the positive.  Like the fact that I have been painting more often.  And that I have actually managed to list some of those paintings in my Etsy shop.  I have always been an artist.  I have always created and made things.  But, unlike most other artists, it doesn't come easy for me.  Inspiration doesn't just flow from some eternal spring.  I don't always have a burning desire to make things.  Honestly, I rarely have that desire.  But once I do actually finish a painting or a piece of jewelry or a new design, I feel a very satisfying sense of accomplishment. ..........

So, I have been working on a smaller scale, painting tiny canvases and doing small watercolors.  It seems to be helping my attention span and my confidence.  I am trying to be brave.  Trying to put myself out there a little bit, even when I don't feel ready.  Trying to remember that we can't wait for everything to be just perfect before taking a step, otherwise we would never go anywhere. 

I've got a lot of stuff floating around in my brain.  I want to get it out and write about it here, on this blog.  But I'm not making any promises.  My life seems to be perched on a very delicate line right now, between inward reflection/growth and public expression/goals. 

I'm glad that no one seems to have left during my long sabbatical.  Thanks for sticking around. 
Much love to all of you.
~ Jo~