Friday, April 30, 2010


 This wonderful new life in Arizona drifted by in soft, stress free days and nights.  Always something to do.  Always something new to see. This pinon pine scented town with the glorious snow covered even in summer San Francisco peaks in the distance had grabbed me and didn't want to let me go.   The Grand Canyon was a stone's throw away.  The Petrified Forest.  Sedona.  And these lively college students were always doing something.  And going somewhere.  And the back of those VW vans were filled to the brim with these happy, laughing teenagers ready and willing to find the next adventure.  And they were from all over the country.  All over the world!   San Francisco.  New York City.   Seattle.  India! .   A black one.  A brown one.  A gay one.  All I ever knew were people from my own home town.  White people. Straight.  Catholic or Protestant.  No one came from anywhere else.  Born and raised in our little city.  Lived and died there.  Didn't go anywhere or see anything or do anything out of the ordinary.  The only people going somewhere were the young boys that  were going to Vietnam.  but some of them never did come back.  They came home zipped up in plastic bags.  eighteen, nineteen, twenty year old boys whose only venture out of our little town was a swampy, smoky hell hole that they wished they never layed eyes on but they had no choice.  Their number was called and they were gone and the mothers wept and the fathers tried to be brave and say it was for the good of the country but we all had our doubts because what good would this do for us and what good would this do for anyone.   My brother was one of the lucky ones.  His asthma kept him home. He wanted to go cause his buddies were going and it seemed like the right thing to do if you didn't know any better and at least it got you away from home and the dull, boring factory that was looming in the distance if that was all they said you were good for.  if you weren't smart enough or had enough money or your parents didn't push you or encourage you to do or be anything else.  Because the factory was good enough for us so why wouldn't it be good enough for you.  Why be anything more or achieve anything more because who do you think you are one of the Kohler kids?    So my brother got smart... He wasn't pushed to go to college.  He didn't have the grades for college.  He didn't have the money for college.  But he did his homework and found a college that would take him and off he went when I was a Sophomore in high school.   And then he came back and got me because I was factory bound as I knew nothing else and I too wasn't encouraged for anything else and maybe I'd get married and have kids and my husband would support me or maybe I'd get that factory job and just live at home and take care of my mother which was how it was suppose to go.  But my brother came and he got me out because he knew I deserved more than this and he wanted to show me that there was more out there and if I wanted it I could have it and  if I wanted more it was there for  me and if he could do it so could I...

   I was born again in Arizona and my soul  rose out of that murky dark spot inside of me and no one was going to make me leave it and I would find a way to stay cause not for one single second was I going back to that hell hole that was my life now that my spirit was illuminated by this new found freedom
and no way was I going to live and die in the same place and marry someone that I didn't love just to get
out of the house and have children I couldn't take care of cause I couldn't even take care of myself...I was prepared for nothing.  I only knew how to dodge the bullets that were verbal and abusive and maybe not
the bullets of Vietnam but  bullets just the same and when my number was called I dodged and I ran and I kept running and no one was going to stop me now.   Because when you taste freedom it is the most delectable thing and the thing you want more than you even knew you wanted and once you tasted it there was  no turning back.  So I decided to stay in Flagstaff.  And I dropped a dime with trembling fingers into the payphone slot and I reversed the charges and I called my parents.   and I told them I was not coming home.  and they told me not over their dead bodies.  and i hung up the phone.  and i walked away from that phone booth.   and they were not going to get me back.  not over my dead body cause i would rather be dead then go back to that hell hole of a house and the anger that lived there.  and the fear that lived there. and the no hope and no future and no promise of better things to come.  and so I walked away from that phone and i walked away from them  because the softness and the tranquility and the pinon pine scented mountain top town was where i wanted to be and that is where i was going to stay.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beatnheart goes to Mrs. Tiggy Winkles...

With Riverside, Calilfornia still on my mind, I
would like to show you a really cool shop that
is located right across the promenade from The Misson Inn.
It is called "Mrs. Tiggy Winkles"....Now normally alot
of these kind of shops are too frou-frou and frilly for me,
with alot of not so great merchandise...This place however is an exception.

This is the proprietor of the shop, CeeAnn Thiel...
She is one heck of a groovy chick with exceptional taste
and a great eye for cool stuff... She was friendly and willing
to share.  It was like visiting a friends house..In fact
 I was ready to go home with her afterwards and carry
on the party...

Beautiful stuff in every corner...The layout and displays are
really creative... She shops all over the place and knows
where to get the best......  This shop has it all..
Great soaps, candles, an outrageous selection of cards
that are unique and so different from anything else out there.
I loved just about everything in here!
Alot of the merc was displayed in Antique shelves
or buffets...I wanted that stuff too!

Little vignettes everywhere.  English husband even bought 
something!!  Usually he doesn't even go into shops that
look girly... He bought one of these bird pictures that 
are mounted on glass.  CeeAnn seems wilingly to
buy things from vendors who make handmade and
unusual items... 

More cool bird stuff..

An Asian themed section...

One storefront couldn't contain all this great stuff,
so she got the shop next door too...

So when you make that trip to The Misson Inn, be sure to visit this shop
3675 Main Street
Riverside, California 92501

Monday, April 26, 2010


      You can't imagine my shock and surprise when I looked at LLYYNN'S BLOG  this morning to see
 who won her beautiful giveaway and saw MY NAME LISTED AS THE WINNER!!   I really have not won anything for years and I have been trying!!!   For those of you who don't know her, Lynn makes the most amazing jewelry findings and pendants from a variety of materials that are mind blowing!!   I have loved her work and admired it since I started to blog way back on Feb.13th...
   I would post a picture of the beautiful piece that I won if I knew How??!!!!  So please take a moment and go look for yourself.....I will try today to post the links to her blog and ETSY site where she sells her beautiful things.   I am trying to do a link....having trouble!!  Please look over to the right at the list of "MY BLOG LIST"  There is Lynn's there...sorry I'm so inept at this..c  ALSO LOOK AT:
LYNNDAVIS ETSY.COM  and check out her beautiful items in her ETSY SHOP

Saturday, April 24, 2010


For our anniversary, we went to The Mission Inn in Riverside, California.  This hotel is a jewel and one of the most beautiful places I have ever
 seen here in California.

I took over 200 photographs of it.   She is that photogenic!!

Hushed beauty on the inside

Della Robbia Plaques

surround the inside courtyard...

Every nook, every cranny is beautiful.   This is the inner courtyard which contains one of many restaurants on the property.  This hotel is as close to being in Europe as one can get here in California.

 Two parrots reside at the entryway into the hotel.
There have been two parrots since the opening
of the hotel......
The original parrots are shown here in a tile floor
that is on the entry to one of the many beautiful

Ironwork, Sconces, trompe l'oeil, has it all
in quality and quantity....

Tiles of every description...

Some rooms have these great balconies...

Fountains?   Oh yeah, we've got those..

One of the many of thousands of features in this beautiful, historic hotel.

Italy? ... Southern California Baby!

 the many stained glass windows

Another beautiful Tile Mural...

    The Mission Inn is located in Riverside, California.  From Long Beach it is about 57 miles east or an hours drive without traffic.   Riverside was famous in its heyday for orange groves and it was also a stop for trains. Many US presidents stayed at this hotel.   It has about seven different restaurants.  We had lunch in a pretty little outdoor one that featured delicious Italian food.  We then walked around the town and stopped in a delightful little museum,  a University of California museum of Photography and  saw countless other beautiful buildings including a church on every corner.  
As the sun was setting, we went back to the hotel for tea and dessert.  We found the most
 elegant and romantic spots in the hotel.  Plush velvet armchairs...Fine bone china tea service...Beautiful Linens...  You are treated like visiting royality here.  Impeccable service.   And the dessert I had was one of the best I've ever had and I have had a few in my time!   Worth every sinful, decadant bite.   Sorry, the lighting was so low the photo I took of it did
not turn out so great.  You will just have to trust me on this one...

We did not spend the night this time.  Can I now say that I wish we would have?  We did spend a night a few years ago.   It was heaven on earth.  You never have to leave the property.  They give tours and you get to see areas  that people just walking in cannot see.   Many weddings are held here in the most romantic little Chapel and the lucky bride and groom are able to have their photography done on the grounds..
 This hotel was nearly torn down.  At one point it was boarded up and left for ruin.  Someone with lots of money and a vision restored it.     

Next time you are in Southern California make it a point to see this beautiful hotel.  It is well worth the drive.  And make sure you spend the night...  I assure you, this place will blow your mind. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010


On April 22,1983 David and Cynthia were married in The Little Chapel of the West,  in Las Vegas, Nevada...and the rest is history....

and HER STORY...  
To my darling husband...Thank you for having me, saving me and making me a better person..
I love you with all my heart.... 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


  I have been searching for were never to be found.   I have looked in nooks and crannies.
In dirty garages with dust motes floating and cobwebs dripping and smells smelling and grunge lurking.
 I know you were somewhere...but where?   How long must I search?   Other people have found you...
I've seen you with them but you were always just out of my reach.  And then suddenly, that Sunday
morning, turning the corner, there you were! I approached quickly, knowing how desireable you
are.          Everybody wants you...   But now you are mine!

I don't care that you are a little boy (Twiggy?)  and not a full blown woman...You have the characteristics
I craved.   The long slender neck.  The gentle curve of the shoulder.  And your skin!  Just the right
golden, color...the perfect amount  of crazing....Born in the 40's (one of my favorite decades!)
I dress you up in one of my favorite old silk nightgowns... The hand embrodiered lace slips and 
slides gently over your delicate skin.  Of course it fits you...A perfect clothes horse.
I put you in the alcove with the Eastern exposure...Look at how the light hits
your contours.. A Burne- Jones Painting!!  
I put you in my Wedding Dress...Again...Perfect..

My Muse...My Galatea... My Jane Burden...
A Perfect  Model.

And now gentle reader...check out this hot woman-child in
the Beatnheart Boutique!!  We're right next door..
  Already I have been designing new things...
just for her.

Monday, April 12, 2010


and this is what I saw...

 ...Those six babies just clung to their mothers back.

so it appears that they live in a little family unit, with
the male sticking around or then again it could be 
another female...I am not an oppossum expert.. 
nor do I claim to be one..


I went outside to see where they went...It had been awhile since I
saw them.   And there they were...the whole little family, totally unafraid
of me ...showing no fear, bearing no teeth...and those tiny babies still
hanging on for dear life.. Creepy yet cute.   We get alot of wildlife
in our garden...amazing really for being in the middle of a major
city... I have seen many oppossums, raccoons, morning
I opened the front curtains and there was a coyote in the front garden.
Mind you, we are not in the hills or canyons...We live surrounded
by two major freeways...

Hey just a little change of pace from all the usual beautiful fashion layouts,
art projects, delicious pictures of food, fabulous recipes you see in alot
of blogs... Yes, life in the big city here in southern California!!

PS....We had the most killer rainstorm last night.  This is very late in "the season" for us...It is
so wonderful to get the rain as our water tables are dangerously low....too many folks, too little
water.   So when we get rain it is reason for celebration...unless of course you live in the  hillsides
and burn areas...Oh California...what a complicated place you are...  I always tell people
we pay dearly for this wonderful weather .

Monday, April 5, 2010


 I  looked out the window at the frozen corn stalks in the empty fields.  The old red barns.  The white clapboard farmhouses.   The grey silos.   All of the things that formed the images of my youth.  The cows in the fields, marching like soldiers in a line to the feeding troughs.   The long, lonely country roads, in the summer filled with wildflowers and birds and bees.   These are the things I will think of.  What will California be like.  Will there be fields, wildlife, blue skys... or will be it smoggy and busy and crowded.  I was used to the soft, gentle ways of the country... the smells of the new mown hay...clover...Lake Michigan always dominating the landscape for as far as the eye could see.  And the smell of that Lake always in the air.   That slight fishy smell.  not unpleasant.  not overbearing.  just enough to let you know that it was there, will always be there..... and in the summer its gentle waves and soft sandy beaches welcoming you and its chilly water cooling you down in the hot, humid midwestern summer... And what about the autumn?  The big elms and chestnut trees turning from green to bright orange, blazing in the sun.  Alive with color.  everywhere you looked.  The entire rolling hills of the countryside...Blazingly Beautiful. And the smell  of those leaves as they layed on the ground mingling with the soft rain, the gentle decaying of those leaves to feed the very ground that they layed upon.  Running through thoses leaves, shuffling them with your feet as you walked to school..Jumping, throwing, playing in those leaves....massive  piles of them that people burned.  the smell of that burning in the autumn...Your senses were alive in these seasons.  Always changing never remaining the same... and oh, the buds, the tiny green orbs protruding from those trees in Spring... the bursting from the ground tiny green shoots...Lily of the Valley...Lilacs...Peonies...and the smell of those flowers.  Burying your face in those lilacs bushes that grew by the swing that dad built for us..oh and those tiny wild strawberrries that grew wild in the fields near grandma's house.  And we'd go and pick those in the field behind her careful of the old wells!!  little children fell into those old abandoned farm wells...grab the little girls hand and don't let her out of your sight... and then bringing those berries back to grandma as she was already baking those shortbreads, surrounded by dozens of screaming, happy cousins. The more the merrier!  She never seemed to mind, never shouted at as, never seemed cross...always cooking for a mob of aunts and uncles and cousins...Surrounded by family.  My dad's family...Grandma being the rock of that family and one of the women in my childhood who let me know that somewhere , someone was normal.   That normal was rosebushes, and amazing cooking and laughter...and love...And that Grandma who lived in the northern woods of Wisconsin farmland had that love and gave that love away and didn't hold it back.   and showed the little girl that it could exsist...its just too bad she lived so far away.  Maybe if that love and stability were closer to the little girl things might have been different.  And I thought of her and those memories of happier childhood days and I wondered would I ever see her again?
Would I get a hug in her ample apron covered bosom ever again...and that car that I was in that was driven by a stranger  was taking me farther and farther away from all those things that I knew.  Taking me to things unknown.  For better or worse...


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