Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I shut my eyes and listened to the sound of the wheels of the car as they were spinning through the crunching, slippery, blinding snow.  There weren't many cars on the road, only the few who had to
be there.   Those who had to make it to work or had business in Milwaukee or had to go to the airport or those who were escaping the frigid, grey, dull and uninspiring surroundings.   I was in this car.  I was with the boy I loved.  I was leaving, leaving behind the pain and misery of those last eighteen years....
   I scanned my mind and looked back on it all...  Was it all bad... was that all that there was?   Where were the grown-ups who were suppose to help the lost child.  Where was the guidance and nuturing and words of encouragement...  My parents were too wrapped up in their problems..  my mother was  certainly in a world of pain herself..  How could she help me when she couldn't even help herself.   She was a lost child as well with no one to guide her.   She married a man she probably once loved but mostly she married a man to escape the hell of her own childhood home.  No one helped her either..  The blind leading the blind leading the blind.   Generations of lost,  lonely, abused women.
    My mother was drowning in a sea of self-hate. wounded and crippled without any means of freeing herself from all that pain..  so she drank.   and she took pills.   and she passed out.    and she fought with the man she thought she loved so long ago and no one could pull her out of the deep, deep hole that she fell into and was still falling into and the long dark deep hole did not have any light or any way out. She just kept falling deeper and deeper.  And so her family fell into that hole with her and did their best to hide it from the rest of the world and tried and tried to make things normal in a place where normal didn't have a chance.   A place where everyones' bright, shiny faces were hidden behind a mask, one after another after another until this midwestern family no longer knew who they were or what they were meant to be
 and so this family lived around this woman's moods... stormy, dark moods...violent manical moods.. never ever knowing what was to come next..what they were going to see when they came home from school at 3:15.   Would she be happy.
 Would there be a dinner?   Or  Would she be in a dirty, cigarette burned bathrobe , lying on the floor unconscious...would the little girl have to take care of her and get her off that floor and put the butt out in the ashtray and clean up the spilled drink and shake her to bring her out of it ?    Would she have to endure this alone while the rest of the family were  at their jobs and didn't get home until later.  Or would she be so guilt ridden from the day before that she would lavish the little girl with sweets and special treats and undivided attention...Always a roller coaster of emotions..always doubt and fear...always never knowing what would come next...but always knowing it would not be good.... I thought of these things as that car went down the interstate with a man that I did not know as he steered it toward freedom with the boy that I loved who was my knight in wire-rimmed glasses, long hair and green wool army coat.


Saturday, March 27, 2010


    I pulled off my mittens, crusty and frozen solid from all my tears.  I settled in tentatively.  I thought of all of the years of the nuns telling us not to get in a car with strangers.  Of my parents repeating this to make sure it hit home.  And here I was.  In a car with a man I knew nothing about who was driving us supposivley to Chicago, The Big City, a city I have been only a few times.  There was nothing to do but try and relax and enjoy the warmth that now enveloped me. My decision had already been made and now this was the consequence.  Jim and the man talked easily.   About the weather, serving in the army, the state of the country.   Their chattering helped me to settle in as the fear I had subsided.   This was it...I was on my way to California and there was really no turning back now.   I shut my eyes and thought of my parents...of the state I left them in..no, no..I couldn't think of them now.  I had to block that from my mind and not allow myself to think of that...I was leaving a home of much sorrow and sadness...a home that didn't always nurture a young girl.   A home that had its share of fighting and anger and grief and pain..A home that more times than not had left me with a burning, empty, hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach as I tried to shove down what was going on in it...     The truth was I couldn't handle it anymore.      I had done my best.  But now I finally realized that the problems in my  home were not my problems but my parents problem...I couldn't save them anymore..I couldn't be the little clown that made them laugh and distracted them from the truth of what was going on in that home.  I could have spent the rest of my life trying to save them, but now it was my turn to try and save myself, whatever part of myself that was left worth saving..because truth be told I didn't have a single, solitary idea of who I was, what I was worth or if I was even worth saving.  Because all I ever learned was how to pretend..how to lie...how to cheat...and how to act as if everything was ok when it was not.   You see, this wasn't leaving home.  It was an escape.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This is the silk floss tree that grows in our front garden..

We said that we

 needed some shade...

It started its life in a wee plastic pot....
and now we've created a monster!!

 what were we thinking?
you might be saying...

I thought that this looked like a little bird... 

emerging from its glossy green bark...

 But in spite of its gargantuan proportions,

and those ginormous thorns....

it has a poetic beauty...

 a seasonal splendor that contiually changes.
and does indeed provide us with shade...

And also a heck of alot of comments..

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


      The best way for me to start working on new jewelry is to buy new stuff.  There is nothing like a new chain, and new batch of bead caps or a new strand of crystal beads to get my creative juices flowing..

 My work bench never gets cleaned.

It always ends up looking like this....

I like the idea of a treasure hunt.

  But thats how I roll... I like having everything there in front of me...it inspires and motivates me... I need to  look at and play with all of the bits and bobs... There is no way to be neat about this....

                                                             I have tried...

                                                             And I have failed....

My Poor kitchen table...Once a place to socialize..

I need to see everything in order to create something.....I 
love the bits and pieces around me..

                                             Out of the chaos comes some kind of order...

                                                                          A love token...

  My husband is an extremly talented metal artist...He makes me things...He presents them to me...I don't
ask for them..  He does them for me because he loves me...He encourages me..  He believes in me.
 He puts up with me... He inspires me.. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010


A  Vintage French wall sconce for a single candle... Bought in Lille, France on my birthday..

A metal picture frame for a photo of your sweetie.   


A French rusty, painted metal frame shown without glass...
Bought in Lille, France l999..

 A French Holy Water Font with scene of Lourdes.
French childrens tiny little fingers dipped in this in their bedroom at night. 


A sterling flower pin signed Birgminham, England.
A love token to a special sweetheart? 

Sterling Silver pin signed A& Z...a morning glory?  lovely intricate detail.....
A group of religious medals...I have had a weak spot for these since I was a Catholic schoolgirl..and that has not changed...

         I have used this opportunity to show some of the items I have bought and use it as a chance for me to practice my "layout skills?"    These skills, I am afraid, are a crapshot at best with no  rhyme nor reason where the words will go or where the pictures end up..  I am sure there is a method to all of this!!

    These pieces will be going into my space at Wertz Brothers Antique Mall in Santa Monica within the next few weeks.   I have been going through boxes in my workroom and am starting to sell items that I have had stashed since 1997 when I took my first buying trip to Europe...

   I guess the time has come.....Things come and they go.. Somethings I can't bear to part with, so I keep them for awhile, boxed up and taken out on occasion to admire them...Often times, I keep things in my home or wear things for awhile and then I move them on.  Most of the things I buy have stories to go along with them. I remember the day, the dealer, the excitement of finding it and the knowing that someone will love it.
    I feel the urge for another buying trip and so now is the time to sell some of my treasures in order to buy more.. I love what I do and I do what I love .. how blessed I feel to be able to do that.. Have a wonderful first Spring Sunday...

Friday, March 19, 2010


  The day was going well.  I had been to my mall space in Santa Monica to tidy and replenish my stock.  Things were not in too bad of a disaray, so my work was light.   I had hours to spare before I picked up my husband at his studio, and feeling a bit peckish, I thought I get some lunch at a nearby Mexican Restaurant.
  I was just finishing my food when someone came into the restaurant saying "does anyone own a black Volvo station wagon?".  I turned to him and said "yes, I do."  He said "well someone just hit your car and drove off!"  Following him out to the carpark I looked at the state of my car and oh boy yes indeed someone certainly had hit my car..  The entire passenger side had a long hideous white scrape and gouge in it..

               oh no.... 



     Three men were standing near it, one of which was the one that came into the restaurant.  They had seen it happen.  A man that had gotten a to -go order came hastily out and backed out of his space, knew that he hit me and then pulled out quickly and made a hasty retreat out of the place.  They had gotten three of the numbers on the license plate and the make of the car.   Then out of nowhere a woman came up to me, talking on the phone, saying she was speaking to the police and that she had gotten the entire license plate number, type of car, and description of the guy!!  She then gave me her phone number and so did the men that saw it happen.

This whole thing was made a lot better for me because of the kindness of strangers and the willingness to participate in the apprehension of this man.  So much was handled for me by the time I got to the scene that I didn't have to do anything.  Because someone got a license plate number,  when the police arrived, he was able to look up this  plate number and find the man that did it.

    When something like this happens, it eases the pain when you know that the person who did it did not get away with it.    
   So...take the time if you can to help someone in need.  Strangers that are going through someting like this need a helping hand.  Thank you "JD" and the two men who helped me..


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


  It was time to go.  We had decided to make an early start of it, so at 7 am, the doorbell rang and the boy was with his father waiting out in the car.       I hugged daddy hard.  He was crying.  I had never in my life seen him cry.   And here he was.  A man who had raised three children.  A man who was a bomber in World War II and completed 22 successful missons over war torn Europe in a B17 Flying Fortress.  A man who was never sick a day in his life and worked hard at his job without ever complaining, and I saw him standing there in tears begging me not to go.

    My mother was still locked away in her room.  I had not seen her in three days.   She stopped talking to me.      She refused to listen to me.   She locked herself away and I never did have a chance to kiss her, hug her, tell her I loved her , say goodbye to her and  try to make her understand that this is what I must do... what  I had to do.        She knew oh so well how I had suffered.  How lonely I was.     I was suffocating.   There was no hope for me here, no future for me here and no chance for me here.  I never fit in.  And I never would.   Now  I was in survival mode and there  was no turning back for me.  I had to get out...       I had to be free.

    I got in the boys father's car.  He drove us to the brand new interstate that now cut through the frozen farm fields and by passed the little towns that once had thriving motor court motels and where now only ghostly shadows remained.   He dropped us off  on the on  ramp at the outskirts of town.  The snow was swirling, whirling, spinning and stinging.  The boy held me close and wrapped his green woolen  Army coat around me.    I had on the old thrift store fur that I had worn that whole winter but nothing could keep me from shivering and crying and dying inside as I thought of my parents and what I was doing to them.  Then the cars started to go by..first one.. then another...speeding by...not looking...not paying any attention to the kids along side the road.  And then one stopped.......we ran...we got in...The boy in the front seat, I in the back.  A older man was driving.  Probably in his thirties.  A business man on his way to Chicago.  He could give us a ride all the way to Chicago he said.   Two hundred miles.  Two thousand two hundred and fifty more miles to go.

Monday, March 15, 2010


 We took a little Sunday trip to the quaint little foothill village of Sierra Madre to go to the annual Wistaria
Festival.  Once a year this beautiful town celebrates a Wistaria bush that is in the Guiness Book of World Records as the worlds largest known flowering plant.  It is now 116 years old, weighs 250 tons (how the heck did they weigh it )? and has branches that extend to over 500 feet.   Pictures alone cannot show the scope of this ginormous plant.  This was planted from a single plant.   I have tried, but if you are ever in Southern California on March fourteeth, go to see this wonder of nature.    Also the village closes off the main streets where there are some great vendors, several bands, and the usual food, freaks colorful people, and firetrucks that go with events like this.  
                                          THE DRIVE TO SIERRA MADRE.

 A view from the top
The view from the bottom

 The vine covers two properties on over one acre
  This is for you Gina.  Gina is a new blog friend that is from Sierra Madre and is now an expat 
that is living in PARIS..Her blog is well written with beautiful photos of daily life there.  You end up being kinda jealous but she seems such a lovely  person that it doesn't last for long.  She gets a little homesick for her family back here in Sierra Madre so I thought  I'd visit it for her and pass it along to who ever reads this.     As you can see, I sort of got the pictures and captions together, but no kidding it took me forever and I got the sweats doing it.  There has got to be an easier way!!


                                                          MY WISTARIA..

 Just beginning to bud....


Six years of training and pruning..
For one week of pure floral heaven..



Saturday, March 13, 2010


Debrashewhoseeks was so kind  to award me the BBAward..I want to thank her for this..What a kind gesture..I have only been blogging since Feb.13 and to receive an award is amazing to me.  I am to list 7 things about me:  #l   I don't know how to use that list thingy up there  #2 I just learned how to do Links!  #3 I am suppose to give this award to 15 bloggers but I don't really know 15 well enough so I'm only  going to do eight.  #4 I sometimes don't obey all the rules  #5 I can be naughty at times  #6 I love to eat, drink and be merry #7 I really, really love doing this blog....
  OK...and now for the people I have selected who I think are awesome:
#1  JoAnnathefiftyfactor
#2 Janetjustmeandmyart
#3 maurakeithlilaclanecottage
#4 Pennypkstudios
#5 PJ seensfromthebackofmyeyelids
#6 Jeanetteevertonterrace
#8 talesofInglewood
  The Rules of the Award:  #1thank the person who gave you the award (that's me!)
#2 share 7 things about yourself..
#3 pass the award along to 15 others.
#4 Contact the bloggers you picked and let them know about the award...
  Cynthia       P.S.  well it looks like I didn't get the links right after all..I don't want to go back in there
 and lose the whole thing, so you'll just have to take the long way to get to see these wonderful blogs..So Sorry everyone..someday I will laugh at my inabilities on the computer..Right now however not so funny.


Friday, March 12, 2010


   When I sat down yesterday, I had no idea of what I was going to write.  "My Story" just flew out of my fingertips.  I didn't know the momentum it would release...  That being said, an antique dealers work week is on the weekends, with Friday being the big Estate Sale/garage sale days...So I'm leaving you with a cliff hanger.       I'm off to make a living...treasures await!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


      Chapter one:          

     March 11 will always be a memorable day for me.   It was on that day in 1971 that I ran away from home.
    All through high school, I was a lonely girl.  I was chubby, acne faced,painfully shy and never had a date. I went to the prom with my big brother.  I didn't have a future.  College was not an option as I hated school and didn't want any more of it.  Living in Wisconsin in the 60's, a girl's choice (at least for me) were slim.  Marriage or factory work...  Then I met a boy...He actually liked me...He saw something in me no one else had.   He was a nice boy, a decent boy from a nice loving family. He had been in the Army, didn't go to Vietnam but was stationed in the States..He had just been released.  He was a hippie.  I fell head over heels for this boy.  He had lots of friends.  Because of him I was finally in a group and they were the cool people that I had always seen in the teen bars, wearing plaid shirts, jeans, hiking boots, long hair, nodding to the music by the front of the stage, going into the parking lot during breaks..I finally belonged.  I was in love.  It was wonderful.
      Then one day he told me that he was going to see his brother in  California.  Did I want to go along?Well without thinking or planning or wondering what would happen once I got there, or where we were going to live and what we would we live on, I said yes.  I told my parents.. they were not happy.. I said I was going... " how do I plan on getting to California"  my father asked?  Why, we're hitchhiking!! I replied..

  And so, many years ago, in a time that now seems so innocent..I left home.  I was 19 years old.  In the biggest snowstorm in years, with my mother locked in her room and my own father in tears, I walked out that front door with one suitcase and a guitar.  With no plan.  Terrified but excited. And on a snowy interstate with the boy I loved, I began a new life.  On my way to Venice, California.....A place I never heard of and knew nothing about.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


   Yesterday, I went into Santa Monica to do my weekly run to spend a day in my mall space to tidy up and add new stock...A big piece had sold so I had my work cut out for me, so I decided just to do an overhaul and change the look... One of the sales people in the store came to see me and asked me if I had any hooks...I always stock them because I love them and they sell well...So I gave him a basket of them to show a customer.  I was dusting the cobwebs out of the corners on my hands and knees when I looked up as he was coming back with them and low and behold I see that the customer was Martha Stewart...Well... whether  you like her or not, when you see her standing there in yourlittleshopIt is quite
a shock to the system...after all she is the one who almost single handedly started this whole collecting thing and walls of pottery and mossy green and the whole thing... When she showed McCoy Pottery in her magazine I couldn't keep it  in stock...she was that influential...And now she was standing in my stall...
  I didn't say anything just bowed and curtsied...    She seemed gracious and not stand offish..
  You know, I use to think she was a snobby control freak..Now, I see her differently...Maybe her little
"time inside" has given her some street cred...I admire her now..She went through hell and came out on the otherside..looking rather hot I might add...Didn't see any tats though.......

PS...To answer some questions:  she bought those hooks from me..She was in my space for about 6 seconds....From other spaces she got blue and white plates...thats all I was able to see without being too dang obvious.  She looked great. No lines. No wrinkles. Tight black jeans. Little black flats. Black long sweater. No I can't take photos of "the celebs".  We get lots of them in the store and its a big no, no, for us to take pics of them.  Hooks were metal ones like in a grade school locker rooms.. I buy lots of them when on buying trips to Wisconsin.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


It all began January 12, 2010.  That is the day the Fios man came to our house and hooked up our brand new computer to the internet..Until that time, we dug in our heels and refused to have anything to do with computers..We are old fashioned..I don't like modern houses, clothes, shoes..I like old stuff... period...My husband is an artist who makes his own chain,boxes..he'd make his own paint if he could get the ancient toxic stuff it takes to do that..we both thought getting a computer would be selling out..
    I also was green before green was cool..I never owned a car, used a bicycle to get around(in LA!! unheard of !!) people laughed at me..I was always being ridiculed.. We wanted to read real books, look things up in a dictionary..we still had a set of encyceopedias (thank you Jimminy Cricket!)..
   The big turning point was when we received a notice from the state of California that our tax form would no longer come in paper form..we had to fill in out"online"!!!  Horror set in...I told English Husband, you know pretty soon everything will be online..we won't know how to  do anything, maybe its time..
       It was the end of the year..We could use the deduction..We went to the computer shop..We told the kid we needed a computer..He talked real fast..we didn't know what he was saying..When we told him we
never had a computer he stopped talking..He was speechless..dumbfounded..mute..I don't think he ever ran
across people like us..We were from another planet.  How could it be that we never had a computer?  It was as if we had never seen a car or used a telephone..Freaks!!  After he got ahold of himself, he started to show us various models.  They all seemed nice enough.  How do you buy something when you don't know what it is that you are looking for?  How many rams do you want? What's a ram??  I'm  telling you we didn't know squat.. Husband said" My gallery owner uses an Apple computer..what about one of those"..His eyes lit up..glazed over..come this way he said..We entered into a seperate portal in the store..There they were...sleek, sexy,  simple yet complex..downright beautiful looking...I knew it was the one..Garage Band...photobooth...itunes..magic mouse..no wires...gorgeous.." we want one of those" we cried...And so it happened..we bought it home..
  And now..Things are different...my world is larger..colorful..more expressive...A world has opened up that I didn't even know exsisted...stay tuned...

Monday, March 8, 2010


To honor this woman in particular, one of my best new blogging buddies, Debra She Who Seeks, asked me to use my song for her blog..I had only been blogging about a week, and I just couldn't believe that someone would want to do this...Cool beyond measure..
  I wrote this song about a year ago..I woke up at around 4AM with the first line and the melody very clear in my head..I got up to write it down and the whole thing just flowed out effortlessly..I wish they were all that easy to write..  I am now going to attempt to do my first link!?!  If this doesn't work just go on over to SHEWHOSEEKS the long way... You Can't Keep A Good Girl Down

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Take a moment to breathe in..gently close your eyes and give thanks for all the wonderful things in your life.. BREATHE IN GRATITUDE  slowly to the count of five...EXHALE LOVE for the count of five...

Friday, March 5, 2010


It all started innocently enough....I had boxes of broken rosaries, wads of tangled chain, religious medals, bits and bobs of broken jewelry parts sitting collecting dust in my work room...I was having a good clean out and when I got to this stuff I had to ponder...Salvation Army? Box it all up and sell it at my next flea market?? I wondered... Some of the stuff was just way too cool to give up...Maybe I can fix it!!...I still had some jewelry tools from the 70's when I took come classes at the community college..I'll just bring this stuff in the house, sit at my kitchen table with it and try and repair some of it....Fine...good start....But then I needed some jump rings...then a little bit of sterling chain.... a clasp... some little crystal beads.. another pliers .. brass wire ... brass wire in 18 guage... in 24 guage.. My little fix it project grew... Pretty soon I was at that table for 8 hours...Then I went to a bead show.. BIG GIGANTIC TROUBLE..... Beads and beads and more beads... mountains of them... AND I WANTED THEM ALL!!! ... It's been just over a year that I began "my little project"..... My kitchen table has not had a dish or bowl or plate set on it in ages.. I haven't seen the wood of the tabletop in eons. It is covered, saturated, filled with " My Little Project" REGRETS?? Another fine mess I got myself into? Yet another enterprise that I'll start and not finish? I think not.. People like my jewelry..I have been known to sell it right off my neck..Another little sideline for me that I find fullfillment in. Sometimes this is how the course of our lives goes... One thing leads to another and another and with that comes the growth and the progress and the joy and delight one gets from the seemily little things...

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I'm going to just jump right in uncensored and thank you all so much for the uplifting, supportive comments I received.. I did not write the post with the intention of getting flattered or for people to tell me how wonderful I am....I hate false flattery.. and self pity... But I am truly amazed how out of the thousands of people out there I have attracted such a loving and supportive group of people... Cheers to you all...I want you to know that I do not go around ( all the time) in food stained sweats with greasy hair ...I love to dress up even for the most modest occasions.. I shower and wash my hair daily...I work out hard at Yoga class almost everyday...Beatnheart's heart beats with a passion for life with an intense desire to improve and be the best she can be...I have taken the vow to no longer sit on the sidelines and watch the popular girls and boys have fun...I know I can easily fall into old patterns of I'm not good enough.. I have been there and done that a million and one times... I have every intention of moving forward and learning from my past mistakes. I have always thought that when a person gets older they slow down... You can't teach an old dog new tricks and all of that... I feel my life has just begun in many ways and all the old garbage has been properly disposed of and I am left with a clean slate...and a chance to be the woman I have always wanted to be... I jumped head first into doing this blog... I have never written anything nor displayed my feelings in such a public fashion... The benefits have astounded me!! I want to thank spellcheck from the bottom of my heart for without you I couldn't have done all of this.

I would also like to thank Sally Fields for her famous quote and to those of you who got it and my sense of humor.  For the rest of you...toodles.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Today, after reading my favorite blog Tongue In Cheek, I am simply at a loss for words... My feelings of inadequacy are rearing their ugly head and I just feel that anything I have to say and anyway that I try to present it will come across as bland, insipid, boring and dull.... This is what has stopped me in my tracks in the past...If I can't do it perfectly or "be the best" well then I'd rather not do it at all....I'll sit on the sidelines while I watch others succeed...Maybe I'll eat a candy bar or two to make myself feel better.....or I'll be angry....or hurt... or feel sorry for myself and respond with some sort of totally misplaced frustration toward myself or others.... The grey days I described yesterday have been replaced by sunny, blue, glorious skies...but today the greyness is in my heart and in my head....I fear so much of being ridiculed that I simply do nothing at all..... I isolate...I overeat or drink or watch tv...and the vicious cycle repeats itself... .When I feel I can never be as good as others , I do nothing ..... If I don't do anything there is nothing to ridicule...so the real me, the best that I can be is hidden away in baggy clothes, unwashed hair , inappropriate behavior, loudness, crudeness... I act in the exact opposite of what I want to be....what I admire in other women....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

All THE LEAVES ARE BROWN..and the sky is grey..

The days here continue to be overcast and grey....The air is fresh and filled with the fragrance of the Jasmine vine that grows crazily around my house...My favorite time of the year...WINTER IN CALIFORNIA...this is the time when all is in bloom... when you can breathe clearly... a fire burns in the fireplace.... My favorite clothes come out... sweaters and gloves... thick tights.... boots... wooly scarves... The wool coat I bought in London... .Wrapping myself in swaddling knits.... When you have sunshine for 300 days a year, 10 inches of rain total... Grey becomes soothing ...comforting... It takes the edge off the dust and dirt and smog and leaves covered in the grunge from the cars and planes and trucks and ships coming in and out of this harbour town...

Monday, March 1, 2010


TODAY IS DOROTHY BRAEGER WOLFF'S 90th birthday...can i ask all my dear blogger friends to send into the universe warm loving thoughts to a woman who has lived a long life of joy and sorrow.. struggle and pain..ups and downs and over and outs..... Mamma , may a sweet gentle warm feeling envelope you today and the rest of your days...may the remainder of your days be filled with peace...I love you....Happy birthday little one ..... Happy Birthday sweet girl......


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