So I use my blog for whatever is on my mind. Part diary, part writing forum, part record, part experimental. I tried separating it out before, setting up my garden blog separately, but I haven’t been tending to it either. I’ve never been disciplined in blog writing and have never written it with the goal of attracting an audience. I just write whatever comes to mind and if someone stumbles across it and finds it interesting, that’s wonderful. If not, that’s fine too. I’m going to try to not bleed all over the blog quite so much though. Or if I do, to mark it as private. That’s not to say it’s going to be strictly business either, just not so much about my personal pain.

I mentioned before that I set up a new shop but haven’t gotten around to writing about it. First, I sell my photography online. I used to sell on etsy but at the moment I’ve been concentrating on Society6 instead. I sell photography and collage work. When I first started selling my photography, I was concentrating on my urban exploration photographs. I adored urban exploration but haven’t been for a while. Anyway, I decided on the name Forgotten Beauty referencing the abandoned places I was photographing and I’ve kept the name. It works on several levels, which I’ll get to. For now, my creations are sold here and my facebook page where I post about sales and new work is located here. (As a side note, I also manage the Carolina Kitties rescue facebook page – we have lots of cats needing homes!) Lately I’ve been working on botanical collages using antique natural history illustrations.

I started a new shop several months ago on redbubble selling pre-raphaelite art and Golden Age children’s illustrations. It’s expanded to include other Victorian era art as well. That one is also named Forgotten Beauty, which works on a different level than my photography page. In this case, it references these antique works of art, especially the illustrations, that have been forgotten but are still pretty amazing.

I have always loved the pre-raphaelites, and those who followed their example. John William Waterhouse is maybe the most famous, although he was not in the pre-raphaelite brotherhood. (A purist I am not.) The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets and art critics and was founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. They objected to the classical poses and compositions that became popular with Raphael, and wanted a return to art pre-Raphael. This included lush colors, attention to minute details, and more complex compositions. When looking at a pre-raphaelite tree, you are able to make out the individual leaves rather than a blur suggesting leaves. Their subject matter often comes from mythology, literature and history. Tragic women seem to have been very popular with them but that’s a subject deserving its own post. I’d like to write about some of my favorite artists and the subjects the pre-raphaelites preferred in the future.

The other part of it  is Golden Age children’s illustrations. In the mid 1800s, paper, printing and books were becoming much more readily available and literacy rates were rising. For the first time, books geared towards children were becoming popular. Improvements in printing and engraving techniques meant that they could be produced faster and with better quality. Gift books became hugely popular and highly skilled artists were paid well to illustrate them, attracting the top talent of the day. This era produced some of the finest children’s illustrations to date. It lasted until the early 1900s. They often illustrated new editions of existing classics, such as the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales or The Arabian Nights. There were many artists of note in this era that I’d like to discuss eventually. There is an abundance of beautiful art that I’ve slowly been getting listed but I still have so much more I want to list.

So, this is what my store is and what it specializes in. What I know of art is self taught so I am by no means an expert. I just appreciate it and want to share it with others who might appreciate it as well.

This is it for now. Goodnight people.



It’s been a hectic week. I did quite a bit with the cat rescue the past week and got to meet one of the women I’ve been talking to online. There’s a missing cat  that has just about everyone involved with cat rescue searching. The owner is from out of town, New York, actually. The cat was lost on her way to Florida. She was here for two weeks searching, which is what got everyone mobilized. She had to leave today but we are continuing the search. There have been a couple of sightings so we know she’s out there, it’s just a matter of finding where. Anyway.

I’ve been writing, and I’m excited about that. I don’t want to jinx it so that’s all I’ll say for now, but I’ve been engrossed with the story and it feels good. Maybe it was the meds after all. I quit writing when I started pain meds but I thought it was because I was busy trying to survive. However, I still couldn’t write even when not busy with that so I began to wonder if it was the meds. My dose was cut in half a few months ago. It could just be coincidental, or maybe it was the meds. Either way, I’m trying to chase it.

The best part of the week though, was that I  got to play with bees! Someone from the beekeeper’s club said he would help mentor me so I finally got some hands on experience. I liked it as much as I thought I would. The hives were at another member’s house (more like mansion!) at the back of a field. There are a row of them back there. The older guy was quizzing me to find out how much I knew about them. I took the online class but it’s been a while and I couldn’t remember all of it so I got some things wrong but that’s ok. I’m learning. We opened up a few hives and they showed me the different structures the bees were building. Pollen stores, honey, new wax, capped brood, drone brood, propolis growth, eggs, all that cool stuff. I loved it. I got to take out a couple of frames and find the queen. I had lots of questions and they were great about anwering things. I’m sure when I get my own hive I’ll have a whole flood of questions. At any rate, I do like it and the bees don’t make me nervous at all so that’s good. Bee suits suck though. Just an fyi.

It’s late and I’m hurting something fierce so that’s about it.  I’m discouraged about the house thing and don’t particularly want to look again but apparently I need to. There’s not much out there right now.

It’s after midnight and I hurt. Goodnight.



At every step of the way to finding a house I’ve gone to my husband in the hopes that things would improve. I didn’t want this and still don’t so I’m not excited about the new house. I am homesick for MD and my woods, and that will be nice, but right now it’s hard to look past the sorrow I’m feeling. He has been the love of my life, and I wanted things to work so badly. I changed for him and tried to be what I thought he wanted me to be, but I can only do so much. Even now, with inspections starting, I still have this hope. Part of me hopes something will be wrong and the sale won’t go through, but if he’s not willing to work with me it wouldn’t do me any good. I told him when I decided to bid on the house, and in the week since he was talking to me a little more. It was nice. I’m so starved for attention I was happy with that little bit of interaction.

It came down to self respect I think. If I wanted to have any self respect left at all I had to make a stand, so I did. I don’t know if it’s worth it or if I’m doing the right thing. I just know it hurts. I think about the good things about him, the things that made me fall in love with him, and I don’t want to go. Lately some nights it’s all I can do to not go in and curl up to him in bed, but then I think how it would feel for him to reject me. Damn I’m tired of crying.

I haven’t done anythong offline for days. I’ve been working on my shop to get my mind off of things. In good news, I’ve been following the Jayme Closs case and I’m so glad that little girl escaped. I was afraid they’d find her body. I hate to think of what she’s gone through and am glad to see she has supporting family, including pups. I need to drag my butt to the store

I should be excited about a house. I’m not. I don’t know if I’m making the right choice, but it seems like the only viable choice. I’ll talk to him about it tonight.
God this is tearing me apart. I don’t even remember the last time he held me. Pretty sure I’d completely break down if he did.

I don’t know. I think I was born under a curse or something. I’m just not meant to have happiness. I used to think if reincarnation was real, I must have been a shitty person in a prior life. Maybe that’s it.


Well, a house has come up in MD that’s a good deal. I doubt if I’d find a better one if I looked for the next year. So I told the realtor to put in for it and she’s sent me a ton of forms to sign. The problem is, I keep dragging my feet on it. Last time a house came available I put it off so long I lost it. I kept hoping for things to change, even though I knew they wouldn’t. I guess I’m still hoping, or at least part of me is. And damn it, I will not cry.

I was so happy when we got married and never wanted it to end. I still don’t. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man, sharing in day to day ups and downs. But I find myself more alone than ever. I could stay here and continue with things as they are, and try to improve my life without him. But that hurts. The only reason I’m here is for him.

yeah I know I’m all over the place. I’m just trying to sort through my thoughts. I think about the good things about him and want to squash the things that led to me being alone. There’s certainly no guarantee that I won’t be alone there too, but right now I have no interest in anyone else because I love my husband.

ah fuck this.

Books, memory and suitcases

I have loved to read my entire life. On my seventh Christmas I got a set of children’s classics and I was thrilled. They included “Alice in Wonderland”, “Black Beauty”, “Heidi”, and “Little Women”, among others. “Alice in Wonderland” was the first I read and I remember I was pleased because it was a hardback book without pictures, so in my child’s mind it was important. I also had a habit of completely losing myself in my books, to the point I would be completely unaware of what was going on around me. I don’t know how I did it, but I really did not hear or see anything outside of the pages when I was engrossed in a book. This led to a few unfortunate incidents.
When I was nine, maybe ten, I was reading when my father told me to make dinner. It was after my mother had left but before she died. I put water on the stove to boil and went to read some more while it heated up. I have no idea how much later, I became aware that my father was running past my door, up and down the stairs. Being ripped out of my book, I also suddenly became aware that the smoke alarm outside my door was going off. I don’t know how long this was going on before it managed to penetrate my book haze but it was mid crisis by this time. I had set the house on fire and my father had burnt his arms up. I immediately realized what must have happened and knew I’d be in trouble. My father had to go to the hospital.
We lived in a split level, with my room being downstairs and the kitchen upstairs, so I never actually saw the fire, I just saw the aftermath. Right now I’m up visiting family and somehow this incident came up. I don’t think I ever told anyone on my mother’s side what had happened, because of course my father wouldn’t have wanted me to. Anyway, when this came up, my brother spoke up and said he remembers the fire. He was only three (maybe four) at the time so I was really surprised. He said the only thing he remembers is being in the kitchen and seeing the fire and crying because he was frightened. He said he remembers the fire and our father’s burnt arms. He said the memory would surface once in a while but he had never had any context for it and didn’t know I had started it trying to make dinner,  because we had never discussed it before.

It makes me wonder what other memories he might have. My brother is rather stoic and trying to get him to talk is like pulling teeth. Sometimes I think it’s just a guy thing. Women like to dissect incidents, while men prefer to sweep them out of sight. We grew up in such awful circumstances, and I have the memories of all these things that happened, but he is six years younger than me. He has almost no memories of our mother, just impressions.
I find that the older I get, I actually miss my mother more now than I did in my twenties. Maybe because I was so busy in my twenties I didn’t have time for much reflection. I was a different person in my twenties, someone wild and dangerous. My brother is missing her more now also. Or maybe he’s missing the idea of her. He’s gotten more curious about her, and started visiting the grave, which I plan to do tomorrow.

When I was twelve I was given a suitcase of her things that came from the accident that took her life. It’s bright blue metal with bright red metal trim, and it’s beat to hell, probably from the accident. Inside it are her clothes and a crapload of papers and photos from her death. There are photocopies of the newspaper article about her accident, complete with photo of smashed to hell tractor trailer, and copies of her death certificate and papers from the funeral. Someone took a metric ton of pictures of my brother and I standing at the grave looking miserable. I had a fuzzy winter coat on and stood holding my brother’s hand. My brother and I both think the photos are tasteless and rather morbid. Inside this suitcase is also her purse. The purse is what I found to be valuable because it held little bits of her. It’s been quite a while since I’ve gone through it, but I remember she had letters, and jokes and a weapon. I’m sure there’s a name for these but I don’t know it. What it was, was a metal ball wrapped in some sort of rope, and with a long rope handle with a loop for holding, and you would fling it around and use the metal ball to smack the hell out of your target. Even the little scraps that accumulate at the bottom of purses had meaning to me. Cigarette paper told me that she must have started smoking after she moved out. Things like that. I have her jewelry box too, which has photos and a dried up corsage.
After all these years, my brother finally wants to go through it, so I gave it to him the last time I came up to visit. I told him I’d been hauling it around since I was twelve, so it was his turn. 🙂 He hasn’t gone through it yet though, so I offered to go through it with him. I think we’re going to do that tomorrow if he doesn’t have to work too late.
Speaking of late, it’s time for me to sleep. I only have one more full day here before I head back on Friday. I hope everyone is having a good start to a new year.


Excuse my mini rant yesterday. I was hurting quite a bit and it was the end of a long, terrible day. I’m still hurting but it’s the beginning of a new one and I’m going to try to keep it together a bit better.

My brother has been on my mind a lot lately. He’s been great, He tried to call me yesterday, the only person who did, but I missed his call. We texted and he’s going to call today. When we were kids I always knew it was my responsibility to take care of him. Mom left when I was eight and I had to start taking care of him. He was two. For a while we were supposed to switch off between mom and dad but that didn’t last.  Our father was an abusive asshole so it’s always been the two of us, and I was the older sister. There are probably more incidents than I’ll ever remember. We visited an aunt years ago and she reminded me of one I had forgotten. Our mother had gotten a trailer in the same park as our aunt, probably four or five streets away. I have no idea where our mother was but I was watching my brother. I was nine and baby brother was three. He was hungry and there was absolutely nothing to eat there. This may have been right after she got the place, I really don’t remember. I remember he kept telling me he was hungry. I was trying to distract him but he kept coming back to “hungry”. I don’t know how long this went on for but I remember the helplessness and anger I felt.
I was nine and not stupid, and I overheard my father’s family talking crap about my mother. And I did not like it. At all. Our aunt was my father’s sister. However, my baby brother was hungry and I had no food. Finally, I bundled him up in my pink sweater because it was cold outside. Again, I have no idea where his coat was. So, I bundled him up in my pink sweater, took his hand, and walked him over to our aunt’s house. I knocked on the door and she answered.  I asked her for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my brother but would not come in the house. When my aunt was recalling this she said she tried to get me to come in and get something to eat but I refused. I told her it was because I was embarrassed. Recalling this, I remember the shame and anger that filled me on having to ask her for a sandwich for my brother. I may have been nine but I knew they would see this as proof of our mom being a bad mother, which I did NOT want to hear. It pissed me off, to put it plainly. I remember the anger I had when our mother finally returned to the trailer and I told her what I had done.

Our dad was the abusive asshole that I feared all my life. Our mother was never anything but loving and understanding with us. She certainly did not get upset with me for taking him to our aunt’s house, although looking back I’m sure she knew that would give the family more ammunition to use against her. It never occurred to nine year old me that it might get her in trouble. I was just trying to get my brother fed. He was always my responsibility.
Our mother died two weeks before I turned eleven, and my brother was four.  He doesn’t remember her or much of what we went through, but I think he has to still have it in his subconscious. Sometimes I think he remembers more than he lets on. He hears snippets of what it was like for us but I don’t think he remembers screaming while I was being beaten. I don’t think he remembers our father’s systematic destruction of our sense of self worth and confidence.
Our father remarried when I was 13-14 and my brother was seven. I have photos of his seventh birthday. I was thirteen and had recruited a friend to help me throw a birthday party for him, if you can imagine two thirteen year old girls trying to handle a house full of seven year olds. Our stepmother is in the photo, and if I remember correctly, she brought me the decorations. After they married our father chilled out some and the abuse lessened. It didn’t stop, but I was grateful for the better atmosphere and also because she started taking care of my brother.  For the first time, I didn’t have to be solely responsible for him. I moved out when I was seventeen, but felt badly about leaving my brother. I told him to call me if he needed me, and that when he got old enough he could come stay with me.

There is so much more, but this is it for now. The sandwich incident was on my mind for some reason. They tell you to write what you know. I think about writing a book about our experiences, but to what point? It doesn’t really have a happy ending. It’s not inspirational. Who wants to read that sort of thing? So I don’t. I could work my experiences into a fictional character, but then I have a hard time thinking of what sort of story to tell. I think if I were to just write maybe something will come, so that’s what I’m trying to do. So, if I have the occasional post ranting about some painful incident, like yesterday, maybe it’s worth it to push through. I kept trying to write over the past year but would cry every time. So I would put it away so I could get myself under control again. But I was doing it for him, so he wouldn’t hear me crying. I think it’s time I started doing things for myself again.