Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Today, marked the 500th order for sales in my shop!

I have learned much in the last 22 months.
When I started, I didn't know an RSS feed from chicken feed, and I still have not figured out the benefit of understanding my weekly Metric Report...does it matter that my sales this week to Rhode Island are down 141%?
I have learned the value of research.  Twenty two months ago, I didn't use terms like Hollywood Regency or Rock-a-Billy.  Both are dreadfully overused!  Like exclamation points.
There is a wealth of knowledge and a very supportive group in the vintage street team that I am part of...GO VESTIES!

So I am celebrating with a bigger and better commitment to myself (and dear Richard) to run this home business with a plan that includes:

less warehousing in the common living areas
learning to use my Nikon D5000 even if it means taking a class
adding back leisure time to my days/evenings...
blogging regularly

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankgiving Drive

There is notable work being done to help extend gratitude for plenty in a time of uncertainty.
SNAP offers a toolkit for those interested in taking the 27.00 dollar a week food challenge.  Minnesota Public Radio offers audio link in which Kevin Winge relays his experience not only in paying for good quality food, but also access to food that is typical for the poor.

How I struggle to live in my abundance!

The forecast for most of Minnesota today is another bout of snow mixed with freezing rain.
My son and his girlfriend are bound for sunny California.   I am gauging the chances of getting them to the airport on time, between yoga classes.  I wish you all safe travel.

The following is an unpublished poem that I had submitted in a contest five years ago.
Sadly, it is still timely.

thanksgiving drive, 2005 

spruce and douglas fir
lie top to toe 
like soldiers
on this flatbed truck

top to toe like good
foot soldiers
bundled, dog-tagged
cut off at the ankles

they are lying fresh
and green
with their legs 
sawn off

if you calculate growth rings
in soldier years
they must number nineteen
or twenty

they are harvested
from mid-western farms
bound to bleed their sap
onto persian carpets

and they are stacked

ten-high seven across
times four
on this one truck
headed north

cookie engel
november, 2005

Thursday, November 18, 2010

vintage tins baking frenzy

I've been collecting the prettiest and most unique vintage biscuit tins for months.
And I've paired them with my home baked biscotti.

Last weekend, I garnered approval from Gene at the bike shop, for a testimonial for my double bourbon biscotti.  It wasn't hard, with the bottle of Jim Beam under my arm and a tray full of cookies.

See all the listings here:
double bourbon biscotti

Sunday, November 14, 2010

cat lapping...a dry topic

First there was Hans and Frans, then the cheeseburger/pepsi servers...Now there is Pedro and Roman, two researchers from the Massachusettes Institute of Technology who have undertaken the important work of recording the physiscs of how cats drink.
Watch if you dare!

On a more interesting note, some lap/cat finds from etsy, just click on the caption!
vintage postcard
"LAP" print
lap blanket
toddler tee

OOAK illustration

siamese pebble art from my shop

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Whooos your daddy?

I came across an extensive collection of owls last week and purchased a fraction of what was offered.  Some very unusual specimens...hand carved wood, a gorgeous large art pottery piece, in what reminds me of Frankoma's prairie green glaze, a tiny Goebel porcelain and a funky red resin bookend.  See them in the shop.
Happy Whooensday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smile, Darn Ya Smile

The Cheshire cat as John Tenniel envisioned it in the 1866 publication of Alice in Wonderland
This morning is day 1 of the 21 day pledge that I made to my dentist.
After several years of increasing jaw pain, neck and shoulder stress, tinitus (ringing in the ears) and a.m. headache I bit the bullet, or in this case the NTI.
The NTI is a small appliance that is custom fit with the purpose of shifting the bite to the front teeth.  This allows the powerful temporalis muscles to relax during sleeping.

I am an un-closeted clencher.

An often used cue to my yoga students during savasana: "release and relax the jaw, gently part the lips and allow the tongue to fall away from the roof of the mouth" works wonderfully well in conscious relaxation.  During semi consciousness and deep sleep,  that response gets forgotten while the acquired "bad" muscle memory kicks in...in my case, jaw clenching.

During the night I popped it out a few times.  My tongue is playing around with the rough edges.  This morning I woke up, as usual, with a headache.  Acuppajoe cured that, but of course de-caffeinating myself is also part of the program.

My dentist also warned me to secure the NTI when not in use, because apparently it can be attractive to cats!