Tom has a knack for finding random things on the ground and making them into little gifts. Usually they’re something from nature. But a tiny toy is always welcome.

Today is my mother’s birthday. She’d have been 91. That astonishes me. I have stories of her from every age, including her childhood during the Depression. Her great joy was being able to go to a Shirley Temple movie with her brother for a nickel. Toys were things she and her six brothers and five sisters made out of whatever they could find. A stick became a sword for a fencing match. A scrap of fabric and some straw became a doll. They hung vines from trees to swing on and play Tarzan.

I’ll bet something like this little guy, dropped in a parking lot and left behind, would have been a treasure to them.

Related: Happy birthday, Timmy! A treasure to all who know you.

Living on the edge

I don’t know what it is about writers that we can’t seem to pass up any kind of journal, blank or otherwise. When I saw this one, I thought, It’s true. We should do something every day that scares us.

It’s how we grow. It’s how we learn. It’s how we live bravely.

Now every time it catches my eye, I mutter, “Shit. Isn’t reading the news every day ENOUGH?”

Crystal Gazing

Another find from my retail therapy yesterday. This is Joe, a stunning quartz crystal from Brazil. It’s hard to tell how large Joe is from this photo, but I believe he’ll also bring big–and good!–changes with him. Yes, I’m the one who named him Joe. But like Miss Stevie Nicks, I keep my visions to myself. 😉

Peace of mind

I’m about to find out if shutting down almost all social media has the effect I think it will. If anyone misses me in those other places, I’m always here. I love so many people and think they’re wonderful, but sometimes a person has to do what’s best for her mental, physical, and spiritual health. There’s no big drama here, just the need for something more peaceful where I can breathe.

Things I’ve learned by moving No. 2

Some things can be fun to unpack. Years ago, Tim and I officed together in a room at The Compound. After wireless came along and he could more easily be online in his apartment, I turned it back into a guest room and moved into my little office off the kitchen. Most of the crap/stuff/whatever I had on shelves around me was put into bins in the garage with crap/stuff/whatever that had been packed from various workplaces, because I had significantly less desk and shelf space and wanted less clutter.

I’m finally almost through organizing my office, and the last thing to do was open those bins and start purging. Dear lord, so many floppy disks. If you’re a teenager today, do you even know what a floppy disk is? Vinyl records have become cool to have again. Will floppys ever make a comeback?

But I digress. Here are some of the fun things I found (along with more pens and pencils and endless tablets and Post-Its and notepads of many shapes and sizes).

Three little bottles, all from my friend James. Two contain bits of dirt or little rocks, probably from a certain redwood forest that holds great meaning for us. And the other I wasn’t sure about so I opened it, and for crying out loud, I’d just cleaned my keyboard the day before and now it’s been dusted by glitter. Fiendish James.

In one of the places where I did contract work back in the late 1990s, a coworker brought back voodoo dolls from New Orleans for several of us. I ended up with two who do that voodoo that two do so well.

Our friends Christine and John gave us this little bud vase many, many years ago. It’s endured some wear and tear, but it’s still a great holder for a bud I cut from a rose bush that’s growing here on the property-that-still-has-no-name.

I almost never got this open. I think it was originally a box a scented candle came in, but I had no idea what might be stored inside it. Voila! The daffiest of things.

Bad Daffy and Good Daffy. One of Good Daffy’s wings is broken, but that can be fixed on some Craft Night.

Hmmm, Debby, apparently I thought we might go back to bingo someday and I was prepared! Well, prepared if I wanted to search for a random bin in an overpacked garage to find these.

I’d forgotten that I once had a little niche for a couple of people’s spirit animals (fox and eagle), a little Kwan Yin, and a laughing Buddha.

My trusty old Zippo. I think I received this as a gift when I was a college freshman or sophomore. When I was an undergraduate, students (and professors) could and did smoke in class. Crazy!

A small soapstone ram box containing the ring of a friend who’s no longer with us, a tiny piece of rose quartz, and a little pewter stone that says “create.” A good reminder.

Everyone should keep a jar full of rainbows.

Random assortment of candle holders and a soapstone dish I used for burning incense cones.

Also very random: faded wrist bands from two of Tim’s three hospitalizations. Longtime readers will remember that I said I was keeping these to auction off to his stalkers to help pay his medical bills. 😉

A little leather pouch that contains a bottle with a blend I made of essential oils. I don’t remember which recipe this is, but it still smells wonderful. A bracelet from Jim. I think this was a Jim/Steve C/Tim visit and he bought all of us one of these in Galveston. And a little stone my mother gave me as a reminder of my healing hands.

This tray that sits inside a desk drawer still has random little notes from a job I have not had since 1996. But who cares because HOLY ANTONIO BANDERAS. This almost makes me want to unpack the ten zillion boxes still stacked in the back room of the apartment-that-also-has-no-name. Almost.

Things I’ve learned by moving No. 1

I’m trying to organize my office. I’ve had so much office-type crap stuck in so many places over the years that trying to pull it together and arrange it (and purge much of it) is daunting. I have learned:

I have too many red pens. These are just a few of them.

When a pen doesn’t write or a mechanical pencil is broken, throw it away immediately. Or you’ll end up with a wastebasket that looks like mine.

I’m obsessed with wooden pencils. I found two more boxes of them after I took this photo.

When you get free calendars, don’t stick them somewhere until you need them, because eleven years later…

Button Sunday

My favorite gang.

Related: I had to find a new case for my phone. I’m happy I didn’t have to settle–found one I loved first try.

It’s rumored my life may become a little less crazy around mid January. Lynne and I have even decided to postpone our joint family Christmas celebration until then. Anything that I have to mail–it may make it by then, too.

Merry Christmas!