Friday, June 28, 2013


I remember the first time I ever heard about homosexuality. I was about 13, and there was a letter in Dear Abby that mentioned lesbians. I had to ask my mother what a lesbian was, and when she told me I said, "You're kidding?!" I was dumbfounded! I had always been boy crazy, so I didn't understand being attracted to someone of the same sex.

Now, some of my best friends are gay. I know that sounds trite, but it's true. And now they can get married in several states and countries, and the Supreme Court in the USA has ruled that they are entitled to the same federal benefits afforded to heterosexual couples! In celebration of this decision and in support of LGBT Pride Day, I'm wearing my own wedding dress, with a rainbow of colors.

Donna Ricco dress - seventeen years old, and a little tighter than before

I'm hoping that my gay friends will get married and have real weddings. I met F and H in 1979, and they'd already been together for a few years. They live in California, so maybe they'll soon be able to make honest men of each other - 35 years later - now that the Supreme Court has paved the way for reinstatement of same-sex marriage in California

In Seattle, P and D could get married any time – Washington State approved same-sex marriage last year. They said they'll probably go to the courthouse, no big deal, and get married for the legal and insurance issues. I asked them, wistfully, "Won't you do it for LOVE?" They laughed. Their 16 years together attest to their love and commitment. But I'm hoping for a romantic celebration at least, and all the trimmings!

scarves - retail; shoes - Chelsea Crew; rose pin - craft fair; necklace and bracelet - by me
These friends were at my wedding, and I would love to be there if they say I do, legally confirming the vows that have been unspoken during their lives together. And I'll cry like an Italian grandmother.

Love is love. Be visible. Linking up with Patti at Visible Monday!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Cross my palm with silver*

I will foresee your destiny in this glass globe under the passionflower vine.

My robe was woven from seaweed and mermaid's hair, and on land it manifests an undulating teal pattern, like waves carrying galleons in the Spanish Main during the reign of the House of Trastamara and Juana the Mad. 

The black skirt once belonged to a sorceress known to live in a cave in the Val d'Aosta. She may be living still – her body has never been found, but her clothes were transported on winds and tides to the four corners of the earth. How this one arrived at the Delta Oaks Walmart is a mystery. 

The sandals, made from the blackened skin of a hippopotamus, were created by sprites living in the Great Banyan tree of Kolkata. The belt was once the pelt of a black panther, split into 10,000 belts by Sheik yur-Buudti and given to his 10,000 daughters.

The necklace holds a tiny pool of enchanted nishikigoi who were bewitched by Susanoo and fated to swim forever within a golden ring.

At least that's the story I was told.

topper - Soft Surroundings; tank - JCP; sandals - ?; belt - thrifted; cuff - Etsy; necklace - by me
I'm taking my Salacian print to a new link-up at Flight Platform Living - Shiny T Tuesday. I'll see you there – my crystal ball told me so.

And go check out Teal Tuesday at No More Frump!

Valmarina Sparklala

*I also accept gold, credit cards, and money orders drawn on banks in the Cayman Islands.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


It's all in how you pronounce it.

This post is a little bit here and there, but first I decided to recreate my traveling outfit for my recent trip to Texas.

I wore a polyester jersey dress with cotton capri leggings (both Merona by Target) and a cotton jacket (Christopher & Banks). Sandals are Doc Marten's. This was warm enough for early morning departure from our local airport.

As soon as we got to Dallas, off came the leggings and jacket, although I kept the jacket handy in the air-conditioned car.

It's hot, or did someone fart?

The dress was stretchy and comfortable, and slinky enough that it didn't cling to the leggings. I could also use the jacket with my other outfits, although it was so bloody hot that I didn't really need it.

Ribbon flower pin from craft fair to maintain some decorum

I also had three days at home while still on vacation, plus the weekend! I am feeling so mellow right now. I went over to the beach on Friday, the first day of summer. Oregon's beaches are owned by the state, so they're all open to the public - yay!!!

It was one of those perfect days - not a cloud in the sky, not crowded, no time constraints. Just me, my feet in the cold water and then the hot sand, lots of walking, lying on a log, no particular thoughts. Basically, heaven. But without my camera. Ah, well, life happens with or without a photograph!

I went to see "the band" when I got back from the beach, and one of the covers they do is "Just Like Heaven", which was originally done by The Cure. Katie Melua recreated it in a different and beautifully haunting style. This is the version Strange Charm does.

I read that Blogger's Reading List will not be disappearing with Google Reader. At least not yet. So I'm sticking with that for now. If I create my posts in Blogger, I don't want to log in to yet another website to read blogs! Sheesh! Of course, I may be wrong, and totally screwed.

I'll be linking up to Not Dead Yet Style for another Visible Monday. Get out there and be visible!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Humidity as thick as blood

Once upon a time there were five brothers, born to poor Danish immigrants on a farm in Nebraska. The brothers each had one half of a drawer to store their clothes, and they shared two beds in their tiny house. They grew up, worked, married and had children, mostly daughters. Those cousins grew up and inherited the most valuable things of all - love and a sense of humor.

Eight out of twelve cousins
The cousins, of which I am happy to be one, started having regular reunions about ten years ago, as Golden Weddings gave way to funerals and they wanted to meet each other under happier circumstances.

This year we went to Paris, Texas, where cousin Jane lives with her husband and twin ten-year-olds. They've got a Texas-sized spread - there were fourteen of us and no one had to go to a hotel!

It was so hot and humid - in the mid 90s, and that felt like Celsius! Without the swimming pool I would have been soggy toast.

My cousin took us for rides in our grandfather's 1930 Model A. Her dad kept it until he died, and now she's had it restored.

We also visited the local historical museum, an art gallery, and the Eiffel Tower with a cowboy hat!

Some of us are wearing our Paris, Texas, caps that Jane gave us.
After leaving Paris, Mr. Sparkle and I drove down to Austin. It's beautiful country, as long as you have air conditioning. Austin was even hotter, and still humid, but that didn't stop us from walking to the metro rail and taking the train from our hotel to downtown. I've never sweated so much!

We toured the capitol building, which was really interesting.

Texas has had six different flags flying over it - Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States, and the Confederacy.

The building had some wonderful details.

These hinges are on every door.
We were in Austin on a Monday, so there wasn't much in the way of night life - except bats! The Congress Street Bridge is said to be home to the largest urban colony of bats in the US. They all come flying out at dusk, and there are dozens of people to watch the spectacle!

They're too fast to photograph with my little camera - they're just streaks - but if you Google "bats Austin" you'll get images and video. Wow!

And then we came home to cool temperatures and rain. Ah, does that feel good!

How are y'all doin'?


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Black & White

I know I don't have to tell you that VOGOFF style magazine has been released, do I? Okay, good. It's an amazing publication by the right-brain genius, Melanie, and it's worth its weight in ceramide perfect plump ultralift SPF30 non-greasy anti-aging night cream.

Now, moving on. This post is to bring attention to those with chronic illnesses/conditions and their loved ones. To focus that attention and show support, Tamera, the Menopausel Supermodel, who has fibromyalgia, is having a Black & White party!

Tamera has written about a few bloggers that you probably know, and there are probably more out there who either live with chronic illnesses or who take care of loved ones with difficult conditions. I'm a lucky, healthy person, but I want to show my support and admiration for people who struggle to find something positive in every day - and find it they do!

Here's my black and white outfit for the party.

tunic - World Market; scarf and leggings - Target; sandals - Fred Meyer

Tamera's party will be on the weekend, and by that time I'll be in Texas with a whole passel of cousins. There'll be seven of us cousines and only one boy cousin showing up, and some husbands, of course. Bring on the BBQ and Tex Mex, y'all!

Be sure to rock your Black and White 2XS at Tamera's party this weekend!

"One day - my life is out the door
Next day - you show me what it's for"


Friday, June 7, 2013

Venus of Wild Endorphins

Are you familiar with the Venus of Willendorf? She's prehistoric, carved from stone, and rather small, and there's still some debate on what her purpose was.

Source - Wikipedia
I made a wrapped wire and bead pendant that somehow reminds me of the Venus of Willendorf. 

Venus pendant by Sparkle Park Designs
I decided to call it Venus of Wild Endorphins.
The glassses are actually 3-D glasses from when we went to see "Hugo" last year!
Wouldn't it be great if the necklace actually caused wild endorphins to be released, putting the wearer into a state of delight? 

 Or you could wear two necklaces to get really blissed out.

Hula doll necklace by Sparkle Park Designs
Add earrings and, oh, wow, I love you, man!

Of course, this could be open to abuse, but would that be a bad thing – a world full of smiling people?

My endorphins are running wild, and so are my shoes!

These are suede, and they're by Born. They were on sale for $28, so they were irresistable!

The rest of the outfit is designed to induce a state of blissful comfort – old shorts and shirt (I can't even remember where I bought them). Perfect for the weekend. 

After I wrote this post and had it all ready to go, I went out to see Mr. Sparkle's band, Strange Charm, at a little wine bar. They were amazing, by the way. Thank you for asking. After the band finished, the bartender put on one of her favorite CDs - Prince - while she was cleaning up. The singer, Beth, and I and two other lovely ladies danced our asses off! They were still going strong when I left (and why don't I carry a camera with me?!*$%*). I love bartenders like that!

What are your plans for the weekend? I'll be linking up with VisibleMonday - it's Number 100 this week! 

Now it's Wednesday, and I'm gonna shuffle my new shoes on over to Shoe Shine at The Citizen Rosebud.

6-29-13 I just added a link-up to Spy Girl's Complementary Colors!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

All I ask of dying is to go naturally

First of all just let me say that my mother is the sweetest person in the world. I'm sorry if you thought that your mother was the sweetest person in the world, because it's actually my mother. And now if you Google "sweetest person in the world" you will probably get this blog, which confirms that my mother is the sweetest person in the world. And I'm not just saying that because she gave me jewelry.

The other day she asked my sister and me to come over and talk about her funeral. Like you do. She's healthy, pragmatic, and organized, and she's also 87 years old. Her mother died at 87, and my dad died at 88, so it's good to be prepared. However, my mom said she'll probably live another ten years and we'll have to go over all this stuff again, and she's probably right!

So we also looked in her jewelry box, which I've always loved to do. There's nothing very expensive, but Mom told us about every piece. She let me and my sister each pick out something to take now - I thought she'd never ask! - so I picked this micro-mosaic brooch and clip-on earrings.

I think they were upside-down when I took the picture, so here they are both ways
These belonged to an older relative of my mother's - her name was Naomi Dick, and I remember her visiting us when I was about 10. I looked up micro-mosaics, and these were likely made in Italy in the early 20th century. There are no markings, and they're not worth much, but they're pretty and I just love them!

vest - Christopher & Banks; dress - thrifted
I wore the earrings to work the other day, and they didn't pinch (the springs have gone pretty soft). This is the first time I've worn the brooch, and I noticed that some of the little glass pieces are broken. I'd hate to have the pieces fall out, but I'm not sure if I should do anything - glue, nail polish? Does anyone know anything about this type of jewelry?

Another beautiful day! Flip-flops - Target
My outfit is inspired by Vix. She wore a denim vest with a sleeveless dress in this post, and I loved the way it looked. And in the post she's talking about heirlooms and jewelry from her family! Serendipity-do-dah!

miscellaneous elasticized bracelets - me and craft fairs
 Patti's hosting Visible Monday again this week, so here's a toast to you, Patti!

See you there!