Monday, March 28, 2016


Curled up on the not-nearly-as-comfortable-as-the-sectional-that-has-already-been-moved-to-Austin faux leather (fleather?) couch (currently the only seating on the livingroom in Atlanta), sipping a glass of sauvignon blanc (my second though it's only 5:30). My time in Austin last week is already a distant memory and I am thoroughly, exhaustedly grounded in the now of Atlanta. The exhaustion is the good kind, the physical kind--not the mental or emotional kinds. It is due to the workout (on which I elaborate below) and to the roughly 1500 lbs of glass (5 lb jars of frit) that Becky and I boxed up in the studio today for this week's loadout. I am wiped. If I were not on point helping the child with her essay on the civil war (which is still not done after two weeks of "writing") I would be going to bed as soon as this post is done. But the civil war calls, and the first draft of the essay MUST be done tonight. I will get to bed around 10:00--if I'm lucky.

A less fragmented person might be wondering what carbohydrates has to do with all of this, but that person wasn't there at the beginning of my day today. This morning at 8:30 I had a half-hour session with Mario, the personal trainer I engaged at L.A. Fitness starting back in December to help me conquer the second half of my fifties. Even though I was in no mood to work out this morning and didn't have to get up to take the J to school as she has pinkeye, I trudged (in the minivan) to the gym and did a serious chest workout followed up with 30 minutes (sounds better than a half hour) on the elliptical machine with Becky. As I was doing five sets of benchpresses, Mario and I discussed the fact that I have not lost so much as a half pound since I started working out. My short-term goal for working out was to build muscle and gain energy with a long-term goal of weight loss, but, come on! Three months and exactly the same weight?

Mario suggested that for the rest of the week I not eat carbs after 10:00 am. I said sure, thinking bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, crackers, etc. However when I got home from my grocery store run this afternoon (the only thing I had in the fridge was cold pizza and I knew that had carbs so I had to shop), I thought I had better check to see what foods have carbs. I vaguely remember beer being high in carbs and I wondered if hard cider might have them too. Yes it does so no cider for me. Wine is good (virtually no carbs) but the reference I found mentioned that the carbs in the grapes were lost in the fermentation process. Wait a minute, grapes have carbs? I didn't buy grapes, but I did buy apples and lettuce and tomatoes--all of which have/are carbohydrates. Well this is distressing!

As I munched on a dinner of 1/2 lb of cold shrimp and 1/2 lb of imitation crab surimi and the first glass of wine, I discovered that peas, bananas, apples, grapes, and a swarm of my other go-to, eat well, lose weight "diet" foods are high in carbs. Of course I didn't think to look up the carbs in surimi until I was done with dinner... oops. At least I can still have cheese Gromit!

And now I am off to bed. The paper is as done as it's going to get for the night, and I managed to blog and do other computer tasks for the past five hours since I started this post. Whew!

Friday, March 25, 2016


Gallifrey loves to drive to Austin
Starbuck's Venti Chai Latte in a go cup, half a five-day-old H.E.B croissant and half a two-day-old Kneaded Pleasures Bakery chocolate chip muffin for breakfast. Oh the Shame. It's been 53 weeks to the day since my last post. Guess the whole posting-with-a-time-limit didn't work out. Last night I spoke to the lovely folk of the San Antonio Glass Guild who had graciously invited me to do a presentation for them on my second book. While I was there I was asked why I wasn't blogging anymore. I was also informed that Nikki and Lola are getting ALL the attention, and I should really Get Back To It. So here I am, back to blogging (though I have severe doubts about daily).

As is life's wont, much has transpired in the past year...

The view from our condo in St. Croix
Last April, while we were all vacationing in St. Croix, my mother died peacefully in her sleep. As I was at both a loss and a loose end when Dave took his monthly work trip to Austin in May, I decided to go with him. The time alone with Dave and the town both were a comforting, warm balm to my soul and at the end of the week, we rethought our decision to move to Montana after Jessie finished school in June of 2016  and determined to move to Austin instead. June and July saw the regular, annual trip to Montana. August started the school year and the official house hunt in Austin (which ended after one house and one day).

In September we closed on Stone's Throw (the official name--thanks to Bill Paley--of the new manse), and Dave (the spouse) turned 50. (I couldn't find one photo that captured the essence of the house well enough so I linked to the realtor's slide show which sums it up pretty well.) We celebrated both (as they happened the same day) by attending an outdoor Alamo Drafthouse Roadshow performance of "Serenity" in a self-styled Old West Ghost Town outside of Austin. In September we also adopted a new family member, Kaiju, an adult male cat who is the first cat in our family since the passing of Ernie four years ago.

20 years and still in love
October opened (mid-month) with Dave's and my 20th wedding anniversary (the picture is actually from Christmas day, but I like it so much I am using it for the anniversary) followed the next week by the first or many drive-out-to-Austin-for-a-week-to-take stuff trips for Dave and me--in the middle of the most horrific storm of an especially bad storm season.

November found us in the snowy midwest for Thanksgiving with Dave's P's--the day after we adopted ANOTHER cat, Pavlova, a tiny Russian blue kitten (Ernie Minor!) rescued from under a neighbor's porch and their dogs. We took her with us to Chicago not wanting to leave her to the tender mercies of an adult cat who hated her and three dogs who thought she'd make a fine chew toy--just playing, of course--with the house/pet sitter). The parents were very tolerant of us showing up with a cat. She is about the cutest thing ever and I would love to post pics of her here, but there just isn't enough room.

Jessie and River Song!
I also had another stint as a Staff Lieutenant at Chicago Tardis, the annual post-Thanksgiving Dr. Who convention in the burbs of Chicago. Big highlights this year were Alex Kingston who plays Dr. River Song, Burn Gorman (who I like best from Star Trek but he was also in Torchwood), and Ingrid Oliver who plays Osgood. Jessie reaped the benefits of my tenure by scoring autographs and photographs with all the guests

final American Made Show
winter booth
We thought about going to Austin for Christmas, but Jessie wanted to spend a last Christmas in Atlanta, so in December we drove to Austin with a UHaul at the beginning of the month so Jessie could find out about applying and auditioning for the Fine Arts Program at McCallum High School and we could put the first furniture in the new place.

January, a new paragraph and a new year, found Dave taking a new job, and me exhibiting at the last American Made Show (formerly the Buyer's Market of American Craft) in Washington DC. Let us pause and mourn the end of an era...

London on our last night there
taken with my iPhone
February had the Griffiths vacationing in London and Cardiff (home of The Dr. Who Experience) for winter break, and then in Austin for Jessie's audition for the Cinematic Arts section of the Fine Arts Academy at McCallum (she was accepted!).

First UHaul disaster
March started with another UHaul trip out for the whole family--Jessie came too even though she had to miss school as she had class registration stuff to do for high school. The trip unexpectedly lasted two weeks as we had septic problems I needed to stay to deal with, and ended with a permanent relocation for Dave who needed to be here full-time for the new job. J and I went back to Atlanta, I spent a week there, and then drove back to Austin with another UHaul load.

Baxter waiting patiently to be
 loaded for a trip to Austin
Tomorrow I drive back to Atlanta for a week, Dave flies to Atlanta for an overnighter at the end of the week, and then we all drive back here (I need Dave to drive the UHaul so I can drive the minivan full of three dogs and a teenager) for spring break. The spring break trip will be the first UHaul load out for the studio (I knew we'd get to glass sometime in this post!) and I must admit to being relieved to start it--if for no other reason than to finally see how much stuff I have there.

Given the move--which will stretch out at least until June--I'm not sure how much time I'll actually have to post, but I can feel life moving into a stage where daily musings once more have a place and a time. Welcome to everyone who reads along for the ride.