Sunday, January 16, 2022

Toy Portrait 2: Little Lion


Toy Portrait No. 2:
I'm pretty brave."

(This tiny stuffed lion was saved from a Dumpster*. For a long time afterward, he was very timid––until a couple summers ago he saved a doll from falling off a cliff to her certain death.)

Painted in gouache.

Toy Portrait No. 1

*photo of lion in Dumpster at end of post, here

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

My mood


Expansive Jupiter

So many unexpected nice things (well, a couple big ones, anyway) have come my way recently, I checked to see what's going on in the stars.

Here's what:
The jovial planet of Jupiter is traveling through Pisces, my sign, for most of 2022, bringing lucky possibilities to all, but especially Pisces,
a mystical, magical, lucky transit that astrologers have been eagerly awaiting" [via].

Okay, then!

First up:
Today I did my first shift at a bookstore downtown that sells rare and antique books--mostly online these days. Its temporary: I'm helping out  packing books while one of the owners recovers from a knee replacement. The owner is a friend of a friend, who alerted me that the store needed help.

Someone came along with me: the dispenser of gummed packing tape was too heavy for her, so she browsed the books instead.

This is a genius machine, from the 1950s, I think:The plastic bottle on the right irrigates a moat, through which the paper tape runs.

The lever the doll is trying to operate dispenses the tape--you can see how many inches on the silver guide on the left–and when you release the lever, it slices the tape.

"Jupiter on my shoulder"--actually the morning sun.

Lots of great books, and I can take double my pay in trade, but they're spendy, and I'm no collector.
I'll just enjoy browsing.

I had never seen Orlando the marmalade cat before!

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Willing to be a dweeb for democracy

I told Marz I was thinking of posting a quote from FDR in defense of democracy on my Instagram––because at the anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol by some of my fellow citizens, I was thinking how precious and precarious democracy is.

"I'm an old person", I said. "I can honestly say these sincere, old-fashioned things."

"You'll sound like a Karen," she said, but not unapprovingly. "Jimmy Carter said something like that about the attack on the Capitol."*

LOL. Yeah, okay. Though I'd say a dweeb, "a person socially inept or foolish, often on account of being overly studious."
But also, just taking it seriously.

I made this from FDR's "Rendezvous with Destiny" speech--his acceptance of the Democratic Party’s renomination for the 1936 presidential (re)election:

Full speech here.

I added:

Doesn't FDR sound like Gandalf here? Just replace "democracy" with "the shire".
It's like the exchange between Gandalf & Frodo:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times.
But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

On the 1-year anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol by Americans, FDR's 1936 "rendezvous with destiny" speech reminds me this sort of threat keeps arising.

       ❧       ❧       ❧
The reason I love George Floyd Square is that the occupation is democratic:
the people who hold the square do so peacefully and representatives seek to negotiate with the city government to meet a list of demands they created with the neighborhood and concerned parties.

photo via

*Jimmy Carter on the anniversary of the insurrection:
"Our great nation now teeters on the brink of a widening abyss. Without immediate action, we are at genuine risk of civil conflict and losing our precious democracy. Americans must set aside differences and work together before it is too late."

Saturday, January 8, 2022

January Sunrise

Cold weather makes for clear skies and beautiful sun rises & sets.

Topper put on a bear's sweater to go sit in the cherry tree early this morning...

Friday, January 7, 2022

2021: Bear at the Square

 Brokenheart Bear at George Floyd Memorial Square, 38th & Chicago, Minneapolis, MN

I put Bear at the square in mid-July, 2021. Poster on ground: "NO JUSTICE, NO STREETS"

When I went back, someone had given Bear candy suckers to hold:

And the next time, Bear was reading the psalms:

Two days before Christmas, a jury found Kim Potter found guilty of manslaughter for shooting Daunte Wright.
Bear sat with a red rose under a blanket of snow:

And by Christmastime, Bear was snug in a snow cave:

2021: The Best Series

Behind the Scenes: Frankcolumbo tags along on the "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" photo shoot (w/ SweePo & Satisfied)

Sunday, January 2, 2022

"I'm worried about the scones burning."


Portrait of Tiny Brother in gouache

(No one is baking scones here this morning...)

Saturday, January 1, 2022

2021 Year in Review II: Tiles



Stepping Out...

 ...into the New Year.
It's 2 below (–18ºC)
here though; they quickly came back in.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

2021 Year in Review

This was the weirdest year of my life...

This looked normal (more or less):

The year went from (among many things)...
> a Trump-inspired attack on the US Capitol on January 6
> to the jury finding Derek Chauvin guilty of all counts for the murder of George Floyd in April
> to a happy break from Covid in the summer, between the vaccine and the arrival of Covid variants Delta & Omicron
> to trying (and failing) to get the City to provide sanitation for people living next to my workplace all summer
> to being at George Floyd Square (38th & Chicago) during July, and helping tend the community library there
> to the death
in September of Auntie Vi ––my last grown-up
> to losing my iPhone in October and happily replacing it with a flip phone, and taking a long break from blogging too
> to my workplace (finally & unexpectedly) raising minimum wage to $15/hour in December.

Oh yes, and also, I turned 60 years old.

With so much going on, I decided to use a lot of photos.

A few months away from a COVID vaccine, Julia gives me a respirator to wear working at the thrift store;
snow covers remnants of Lake St. buildings burned in the uprising after the police murder George Floyd;
Jan 20, celebrate the inauguration of Biden/Harris


Meet up with Marz outside Half-Price Books (outside for Covid safety);
Stuff at work (I'm still doing social media for the store);
Participate in [due South] Fandom Flower Day with Eeva

At Minnehaha creek: bink & I regularly take selfies to email to Auntie Vi;
the City prepares for the trial of Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd;
The library reopens after one year;
March 25: my first Covid vaccine (Moderna)

Two Harbors Lighthouse & Duluth for Marz's 30th birthday;
Celebrations at George Floyd Square (GFS) at the verdict of guilty, guilty, guilty for Chauvin

Orphan-Red Circus-Costume Day w/ bink & Sister;
 Annette threw me a 
(belated) 60th birthday party w/ Maura & bink--we take off our masks but stay outside;
Marz at GFS

Domenica's 62nd birthday at the Arboretum, w/ Marz;
baby bink;
Coffee outside at "The Nut" with John & Jill
Plant dyes class at the Duluth Folk School w/ Sister;
Tending the
George Floyd Square Community Library (w/ Neal Baxter), while house-sitting Stefanie & Jim's a few blocks away

With Jesse, Big Boss, OPE, & Sara at work;

Astro eats a cicado!
bink & I celebrate Vi's 96th birthday--her last--with her neighbors Lance & Cindy;
I bring books & make Broken-heart Bear for GFS

Mr. Linens in the alley next to the store;
The City fenced the park to keep people from living there;
Bicyclists drop off donations at the thrift store;
Violet B. Konkel, r.i.p., Sept. 10, 2021;
bink & Maura play chess on bin
Bear Repair;
At the George Floyd Square Free Library;
OPE, BJ, Darwin in the alley behind the thrift store;
Day of the Dead altar at Mexican grocery store by work;
Cat-sit Cleome

I lost my iPhone in October. Relieved not to have the Internet on me 24/7, I replace it with a flip phone. Takes a while to get a working digital camera (from bink), so I don't have many photos in Nov & Dec.

City Elections: "There could be something new about this moment."
...But the mayor is reelected, and the proposal to establish a Dept. of Public Safety to incorporate the police dept. is defeated.

Golda Bear lights the Hannukah menorah;
Me with bears to give to kids at work;
Penny Cooper trims the tree

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