Category Archives: Crafty Von Crafterson

Can Labradors Be Trained?


It has been too long.

My mind is a labrador puppy, look squirrel! No ball! No outside, outside, outside!

The election hit me hard. Maybe some news will come out today at 2:00pm when Obama holds a press conference.

I can’t really talk about the vote. I’ve had to shut down, rethink things. The hardest part was knowing some dear friends voted for…him. He’s a con man, a charlatan. We know that. But now…what?

So. What I’ve come up with is that the friends, neighbors, who made that choice, are there are many, possibly even some of you reading this, they made their choice out of what they felt was no choice. They felt so strongly about some of the issues that they couldn’t find any other way. But, but, and this is the important part, they are still the people who look out for my family, who love my kids, who would do anything for us.

And in the meantime, I’m that puppy. I have to gloss over it to be okay with it. We cannot discuss the election. The future cabinet. The choices that were made that are now coming to fruition. I hope that they regret it. I don’t know how one could watch the news and not.

And when my brain gets too much to handle, I busy myself with…yes, you know me well, my peeps, with projects!! Many, many projects.

So here’s my list.

I’ve been running. Running eases the crazy, it floods my system, it makes me a better human. I hope. And in that vein, I put in for the Chicago Marathon lottery and got in. That gives me until October 8th, 2017 to put some miles on this old bod of mine.

I’ve been making garland. Oh my, the pretty. I’ve cut hundreds (thousands??) of multi-colored pieces of felt, 1″ by 3″, and then the middle gets folded bow-shaped. Run a needle with embroidery thread through and voila! 14 feet later the first garland is up and it makes me happy!

20161215_190105Two more to go…

I’m hand-writing Christmas cards this year. A tiny small thing to sign my name on each and every one. To take the time. I don’t know. It just seems important to me this year.

I’m putting together some bags for people down on their luck. I have the supplies; water bottles, Clif bars, socks, stretchy gloves, cookies, candy and some tissues. I’m going to keep some in my car, and bring some with me to work next week to hand out to the people who may or may not be homeless, but either way, maybe there is something in there they can use. I need to work my brain on a micro level right now. See a huge need, and do something small and tangible. I think I have enough for 25 bags or so.

Begin a new book. I’ve been tossing ideas around and I think I may be able to sit alone with my thoughts. Maybe the labrador can be trained?

I have my plane ticket to hit Washington for the march. A few old friends are meeting me. We need to do something even if it’s to show up and let the people in Washington know that we are watching and watching closely. So, I’ll be there. And I hope it’s big and a cross-section of America. My America. The one that believes in justice, and a government for the people, by the people. Not an oligarchy. Maybe my rage can finally be put to good use.

And I’ve been reading. I just finished Station Eleven and loved it. Now I’m reading Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant. I’m digging women writers exclusively at the moment. I’ve tried reading some new books out by some Big Famous Male Writers and no offense, but I have had enough of it. I want to hear what women are writing about right now.

And I’ve been holing up in my house with my family. I still need time to process all that has gone down. Because I’m gearing up for a battle.

The battle isn’t with my friends, my neighbors. The battle is with this nation and what it is attempting to become.

I say no. Not now. Not ever. Never again.

I have missed you all. Let’s do this thing.

Love, Louie


What We Do When We Aren’t Writing

And by “we”, I mean me.

First, there are cats. I had an older cat, Pearl, who needed a friend. An old bloggy friend rescued a cat in Georgia. She drove him down and voila, Porkchop was added to our family.

We had to put Pearl down. She was 18 and her health failed. Porkchop needed a friend so we went to the Humane Society and Mrs. Goldman joined our family.

My oldest son is a cat lover. His birthday was coming up and he didn’t want anything. Nothing. So as any insane person would do, I thought, hmmm, another cat would blow his mind. My husband, not a cat lover, but a lover of his family, came around. The Noodle joined our family.

We were a three cat family. One more than most normal people have.

Enter Molly. My mother-in-law lives in a small apartment, and as many older people become, she was lonely. She loved being around the cats at our house so for mother’s day, we brought her to pick out a cat. One that she became highly allergic to.

Molly moved in this week and is currently sitting below me, still enclosed in the library, with three cats spying in at her through the french doors. We’ll introduce them tomorrow.

We have become the crazy four cat family.

Instead of writing, I pet cats, clean litter boxes and wiggle cat toys that look like bugs.

My seven-year old loves monkeys. He wanted to be a monkey for Halloween. We found some ears, but no costume. For some reason, once boys are out of the toddler phase, they immediately enter a very specific costume arena. He could have been an angel of death, a ninja, a zombie or a superhero.

I bought some brown fuzzy fabric, and some pale yellow fleece. I hand-stitched an oval on for the belly, and sewed two seams down the sides. Some holes for arms and head, a tail, and oh yeah, he had to have an oversized banana, which he uses as a machine gun. Go figure.

Did I mention I don’t know how to sew? This took me five hours to make.

Instead of writing, I make Halloween costumes.

When I get on the train in the morning, I read. I pretend that I’m not going to work and that I’m headed to my loft where I’ll spend the day writing before headed back home at night.

Then I get to my real job.

I nap on the way home, brain dead.

Guitar lessons, band concerts, dentist appointments, kid’s homework, dinner, shower, put the kids to bed and it’s nine o’clock.

People who love to write, write then. I grab a beer, or maybe a glass of wine and watch people on television renovate houses. I watch people with so much money they’ll buy an overpriced trailer and call it a Tiny Home. I watch Fargo. I watch Dr. Who. I watch bits of movies I’ve seen a thousand times.

I won’t even remember in the morning what I’ve seen because I’ve had four to five hours sleep.

Instead of writing, I watch meaningless television.

My hair was weighing me down. I got it cut. Short. I mean, short short. I found out that some people hate it, some people love it, but I’m still the same person who was weighed down.

Instead of writing, I dramatically cut off all my hair.

I put on weight so decided to start running. In true fashion, I decided I need to run a spring marathon. So I shuffle my heavier-than-ever frame down the block and trip over the sidewalk landing hard on my knees and wrists. I walk home and clean up the blood, bandage the wounds and run a mile and a half.

My knees still hurt from a week ago. My aging back hates the weight, hates me running and begs me to stop.

But I can’t. If I stop the craziness, I’ll disappear.

Instead of writing, I run. Slowly. Painfully.

So this is where I am.

I emailed a friend and said to her that if I was really a writer, I would be writing instead of doing all of this other stuff.

She said when she sits down to write, doing the dishes sounds more fucking appealing.


So here I am.

Instead of doing anything else, I’m writing.