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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

So, Anyway...

We decided in my family that that phrase is a save space, a way to keep the other one from speaking until a thought finishes as not to loose audience with the person you're in conversation with...
So, anyway....Today my friend called with exciting news of a building in her town that looks just like the building we have always dreamed about to be able to share a business together in. 
She was on her lunch break and instead of trusting email to suffice, she called. I don't think I said "so anyway" but I managed to keep interrupting her to get my point..s across...just how excited about it I am and all the ideas I have about how we could get it started. I wanted to share all the new insight I have gained about just how to make a business work. She has plans to see the building and wanted to know if I had any things I wanted her to pay special attention to. I told her I would Google fly over it and Google drive around it to see what vibes I get about it. In the mean time, I told her that the only issue I had was how to deal with my pets (they aren't as enthusiastic about living in a cardboard box as I am). It appears that I would be able to live above the lower shop just as I have always dreamed to be able to do. I told my friend that I could manage any way we had to go to make our dream come true, but the "girls and boy" of my household would want to have a so anyway...("where will we pee, where will we have to be during the day, when will we ever see you...?") to say about it.

There are so many logistical issues each and every day about navigating through life. 

My friend was so excited to tell me that the current business is a tailor shop, since "tailoring" is one of the things I am doing. While we spoke, I was in the process of shortening some sleeves on a tweed jacket for a man and was in the reality of just how unskilled I am at actual tailoring, especially after the fact. I lamented that I didn't think I could expect to be very successful with that idea. She just thought it was a coincidence, maybe a sign? 

So, anyway...after we hung up, I went straight for the Cheetos to stave off my anxiety...I shared a few with Stevie and Mudgie then got on the computer to Google drive by the property in question. It was lovely. My ideas started percolating...
She and I have been friends since freshman year in high school. We are now seniors (not in high school).

There are so many logistical things...oh, I already said that. Well, the point is, ya just have to get on with it. Quit putting obstacles in your own path and begin to begin.
I started thinking about all the successes I see every day. I started to make obstacles..."my camera isn't good enough to post that picture", "I don't have enough done already to" ....blah, blah, blah! Obstacles. So, I took my funky little camera out in the yard dragging a nice chair I have with me to use as a prop. Well, that didn't work, would have to scoop the poop first. So I just laid it out on the "Jackson Pollack" style floor I painted recently and took a couple shots. Then I tried to navigate Picassa and had a learning curve there. Finally I saw the download button and said, "that will suffice", are the pics of the apron that I think...hmm..maybe Stampington will use it in their Apron.ology publication...??? Who knows. 
Ya just have to get on with gettin' on....
So, anyway...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pale Moon Plaza

Pale Moon Plaza

Arthur O'Shaughnessy's 1874 poem
from his Music and Moonlight collection: 

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
Movers and Shakers:

 “those who shake the foundations of
conventional thinking by the strength of
their imagination and vision”
Pale Moon Plaza 
opening soon where Alco used to be.

It will be a broader concept "manufacturing facility"
for Movers and Shakers.
The intent is to create an industry of sorts for local residents
to produce and sell as independent entrepreneurs.
There will be spaces designated for individuals to rent for the purpose of
sewing, quilting, beading, art-journaling, green-crafting, etc.,
on a day to day basis or membership structure.
There will be tables, chairs, equipment, tools, storage, instruction, ephemera, resource exchange, supply sales, as well as an opportunity to market finished products.
A "Friends" type lounge will make socializing comfortable for visitors.
An accomplished Barista will be available to provide your favorite coffee drinks.
Vending will be available (hot dogs, popcorn, drink dispensing), possibly food service.
There will be a gallery for local artists.
Hopefully a garden environment eventually as well as a child focused section.
Classes will be an ongoing resource for those interested.
Entrepreneurs wanted for: Long Arm Quilting, Sewing Machine/Equipment Rental and Upkeep, Vending Machines, Classes.
Please contact us through this blog by logging in and posting a message or visit:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

13067 Lancaster Lane

It's almost unfathomable that this 30 X 30 foot cracker box can list to rent for $972! My mother could barely find the $50 each month for us to live there from the time I was 5 until I was 13. Three girls in one bedroom with wall to wall, floor to ceiling furniture.

We delivered the rent in person to the landlord. His wife always had a beautiful glass candy dish on her table for us to pick a piece from. The landlord, Mr. Clark was never upset if she was late. And she often was. 

Somewhere in those years, she managed to get well off enough to buy the piece of land behind the four houses on the lot we lived. "We sacrificed (Mom would tell the story) for years to get that $2500 bill paid"... we had a dream.

There is no telling what that land is worth now, and it still remains empty because of how the roads went in around it. Even still, it's probably worth a million. My mother sold it somewhere before the 80's for a song, invested in gold and silver and fought to save her sanity when the Hunt Brother's commandeered the heist soon thereafter

I made many a drawing of the house we were someday going to build on that land and I imagined my room would look like the one's I saw in magazines. It was a dream. Dreams are what get us up in the morning. I hung on to that dream for years. It might even have been what inspired me to become a designer. Who knows.

That's a single car garage on the side of the house. My mother's giant baby blue Buick with a continental kit would fit right in it, even with 3 bicycles lined up against the wall; but she would usually drive it right up in front of the house so that we could use the garage for play, or to hoard more stuff. We would half close the door, which hung on two arms with giant springs, and would play my father's Redd Fox album, thinking we were doing something just terrible. Other times we would set it up like a market and use my mother's empty soup cans to line the store shelves for merchandise. We hosted neighborhood carnival events from that garage. My older sister was the mastermind. She would rig up games for candy prizes that she would always benefit from money wise. She was smart that way.

There are a flood of memories attached to this little nothing house. A million pictures - Easter, hunting eggs in flannel housecoats Mom had made, birthday shots out by the lilac bush, holding a cake with our name on it scrolled in Mom's handwriting with a nail, Christmas on our bikes. Millions of pictures, millions of memories.

I took a Google drive through the neighborhood recently and wanted to move back there so badly, I ached. I wanted to run through the neighborhood chasing tumbleweeds and see which of my friends was out to play too. It was funny, nothing much had changed. The whole area that was our neighborhood remains almost intact. The front yards of the houses up on Eucalyptus Ave have all been pushed back to accommodate the thoroughfare. They used to all sit way back on their lots. We hardly ever saw a car go by except for our neighbors. There was no traffic, except on race day. Now it is practically a freeway.

There was an apricot tree just out the back door. There is an apricot tree just out the back door of my house now. I see it when I wash dishes or open the curtain in the morning. I feel the sense of youth every time. We used to climb on the roof of the house to get to the apricots on the top branches before the birds got them. We looked for any excuse to climb on the roof.
There was a tree in the front that I could swing up onto a limb and perch to look out over the neighborhood whenever I wanted to escape. That tree is gone now. A silly palm replaces it. Nothing for a kid to climb.

Nothing has changed much in the old neighborhood, which I think is just simply wonderful. But when you get up into the aerial view and stretch back to where the race track used to be, it's like a different world. Completely incongruous. Makes no sense. A whole little stand of rural, nothing houses swallowed up by cram-packed, rows and rows and rows and rows of high-density, stick quick built junk houses intended for investors to get rich on. I'd take this little cracker box house in the old neighborhood any day...if only it weren't $972 a month! I'd buy the whole little nothing neighborhood if I only could. I surely would. I surely would. Those were simple days, days of eating birthday cake and riding bicycles, climbing trees and chasing boys around the neighborhood. 

We moved from that house in the late 60's and up onto the main street that is now like a freeway. Mom would live there the rest of her life.

It took her 5 years of mental hell to recover from that silver debacle. The Hunt Brothers were culprits in her suffering. So was love. She wanted more for her girls. She wanted something to leave us. She wanted something to focus on after we all left her. She'd spent her life focused on us, she didn't know what next to do. She focused on us even then.

Every morning now I search the clean dishes in the drainer for one of the spoons I took from among Mom's things after she died. I just kept 2 of them and a couple of knives and forks. They were air force property from my father's sticky fingers. (I guess it is called survival.) I eat my cereal and feel connected to a simpler time. Later she got some new silverware that she would put out for Thanksgiving. I didn't take any of that. 

There are things more than money, things no amount of money can buy. I wish I could buy back a few of those years of sitting in trees and chasing boys. I'd find the money for sure somehow. If only I could, I would.

"The collapse of the silver market meant countless losses for speculators. The Hunt brothers declared bankruptcy. By 1987 their liabilities had grown to nearly $2.5 billion against assets of $1.5 billion. In August of 1988 the Hunts were convicted of conspiring to manipulate the market." 

"In the long march toward a new social order, ultra-right and left-wing agitation propaganda serve not only to polarize and destabilize society, they create a diversionary conflict to prevent recognition of the true conspiracy. Lest an informed and united citizenry form an alliance against them, principles of conflict management are employed by the power elites: "The plan, I think, is the old one of world dominion in a new form. The money-power and revolutionary power have been set up and given sham but symbolic shapes ('Capitalism' or 'Communism') and sharply defined citadels ('America' or 'Russia'). Such is the spectacle publicly staged for the masses. But what if similar men, with a common aim, secretly rule in both camps and propose to achieve their ambition through the clash between those masses? I believe any diligent student of our times will discover that this is the case. -- Douglas Reed"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Connecting The Polka Dots

The "Industrial Mall" that is to be Pale Moon Plaza is a dream at this point; but what is the saying, "Be who you want to be and you shall become who you want to become"? No that isn't it, but I think you get the drift. I like this one, since I can't remember the one I want to remember, “If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.”   

Every day it seems that there is something new to learn before getting on with the business of getting on with business. So in determining to get Pale Moon Plaza off and running, Moving and Shaking so to speak, my SBA adviser suggested I advertise on Craig's List to solicit for people who want to start their own business. Navigating Craig's List is an all day affair for me at this point. I haven't had much luck so think better of spending that time just now.

I thought I would start with posting it on facebook. You have to pick your battles.

I did a great deal of research (another one of those things to do before getting on with business) for what to call this idea. I settled on plaza, even rather than mall because of how plaza is described, "Plaza is a Spanish word related to 'field' which describes an open urban public space, such as a city square." Mall seemed to imply something too commercial to describe the intent of this venture. 

When I was trying to think up a name for the plaza, (SBA homework) I started domain name searches. Somehow in my surfing, I wound up finding  Arthur O'Shaughnessy's Ode from his collection of poems Music and Moonlight:
We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.
According to Wikipedia the phrase "movers and shaker" originated here.

I like what the people at have to say to explain movers and shakers: "People of energetic demeanor, who initiate change and influence events."

The vision is for this to be a place for the ones who can do, to do, and for it to benefit the community in every thing it does.
Industry refers to the production of an economic goods (either material or a service) within an economy.(according, again, to Wikipedia). Under economy it goes on to say "the economic agents that socially participate in the production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area." 

The business of doing business requires an attitude of can do. 

The dream of Pale Moon Plaza comes from my own awareness that the trend is moving to locally sustained economies. The scale of economy is moving in the direction of community based sharing of resources, labor and energy.

We are a community especially equipped to determine to use what we have and create our own success not only because of the hardships we see before us, but in spite of them. Because we know we can and we know we must, providing our own successes is within our grasp, if we can believe.

The days are gone for depending on outside revenue and resources to determine our own survival. We have to use what we have and make the most of it.

The vision for this plaza will become reality to the degree that there are others who want success and personal well being and believe they can step outside of the false security provided by myth to determine their own destiny, one of their own choosing, one colored to their personal dream of accomplishment and satisfaction.

William James quotes:
“Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.”

“There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man's lack of faith in his true Self.”
“I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing.” 
“The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.”

I have done a lot toward getting to my dream of independence from employment other than of my own - self-employed, entrepreneur, business owner... I can live with those labels.

For anyone out there who wants to shed the ownership that employment entails, there is a space available in Pale Moon Plaza with your name on it.

It will be a place for Movers and Shakers to initiate change and influence events. We don't have to change the world to change our place in it.

Pale Moon Plaza will be a site of personal industry utilizing resources we share or mutually need and a venue for marketing what we create. It will be a place for the community to gather (public square) to share ideas, produce goods and services and enjoy each others company.

Lollipops & Polka Dots will be a mainstay at Pale Moon Plaza in the very near future. Now that's believing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Reaching for the Moon

“Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it,” responded Goddard. “Once realized, it becomes commonplace.”

I started with this picture yesterday and wrote a short story around my frequent comment that "I would rather live in a cardboard box..."
I didn't like it enough to post, so I cut it and decided to start again.

This little girl reaching for the moon inspires me, so I typed those words in my browser and the above linked story about Robert Goddard - The Moon Man came up. The author says, "Eighty-five years ago today, pioneer Robert Goddard launched the first liquid fueled rocket. We take a look back at the man ridiculed for his belief that rockets would one day reach the moon."

I think it is harder these days not to believe in your own dreams than it is to believe; there is so much inspiration and so many success stories. It is certainly a greater risk not to reach for the moon than it is to try. So many of us think we have security in a job, a steady paycheck - no matter how miserable we may be day after day, punching a clock, taking orders, doing tasks we despise for pay that never seems like enough. I suppose there are a lucky few who have found their "spots". But I hear so often things like, "I'm so glad it's almost 5 o'clock." or "It's hump day...only two more to go. I can't wait for the weekend." I remember wishing the day away. Wishing my life away. It was robbing my soul. 

Yesterday my pastor stopped by my little "Studio Variety Store" where I do sewing and alterations out my garage and sell a few bags of high-end Petcurian pet food, pet treats, a few lollipops, T-shirts and other stuff. Today I did some ironing for a lady who drove up to my gate while my hair was still wet and my face was in the middle of being put on (war paint?). 

"I know you're not open you do ironing." "Hmm", I thought for a minute, "Yeah, I could do that."
"Oh, wonderful!" she said, "I'm on spring vacation from teaching and I promised myself I wasn't going to work through it." 

There is nothing like having the freedom of choice. Even if it comes at a huge risk to do so. My pastor had come from a business meeting. He wanted to ask me if I would be willing to host a Koinonia group at my home. "Eeek!" I cringed, "Oh, my house is in no shape to host a group. I'm horrified. I am so sorry my house is in this shape!"
He said, "You are an artist. I understand."

Oh my gosh. I wish it were that simple. Let me tell you all of all my excuses....oh, never mind. It is what it is, but it is in no shape to host a group. It is really more that I would rather be a business person than a housekeeper. That is the truth. Housework seems like such a waste of time. There are so many other, more valuable and important things to do than ...eeek, housework!
Who doesn't love a clean house? But I would rather write, sew, iron, pet dogs, listen to birds chirp, water plants, did I say sew? I want to be online investigating downtown Tempe as a new place to think about visiting the SBA for consideration of a better "location, location, location!" I would rather be checking out American Express's website to see if the author of the "Website for Dummies" book was right, a great site to model.

Pastor Lupe and I talked about business and the state of our little community. We talked about things we might do to improve it or ways we can all help each other. We talked about the progress of our Church's idea of a community garden
We talked about our city politics and the ways we think it is interfering with any progress to a good end. 
He has a wonderful passion for our little town and has himself chosen rather to "live in a cardboard box" (tongue in cheek) than to give up on his belief that this is the right thing for him to be doing. He makes great sacrifices for it too, and we all appreciate it, believe you me. We love our church. And we believe it will grow. But we trust God for that. We just keep reaching out for the moon... the sun and the stars, and rowing the boat.

I'm looking out my desk window and as we speak, the man in the moon is looking right at me. It is still light outside, my canaries are getting ready for lights out, chirp, chirp, one dog is under my desk, the other just snorted, sighed rather, in contentment on her pile of blankets (her "spot"), waiting for Mom to finish and go in for the night.

We will all get up together again tomorrow. We will plan for better things and get busy rowing the boat to get there. I'll do the things I forgot to do today. Maybe I'll sneak in a tiny little tiny bit of eeek, housework, (dishes at least) and a lot of other creative venturing into the unknown for the sheer determination to "rather live in a cardboard box" than give up on my chase to the moon, my vision that may seem like a joke to some". Not to me it don't, (doesn't)!

See what Wiki has to say about "rowing the boat"...
Meaning: The lyrics have often been used as a metaphor for life's difficult choices, and many see the boat as referring to one's self or a group with which one identifies.[2] Rowing is a skillful, if tedious, practice that takes perfection but also directs the vessel.[3] When sung as a group, the act of rowing becomes a unifier, as oars must be in sync in a rowboat. The idea that man travels along a certain stream suggests boundaries in the path of choices and in free will.[4] The third line recommends that challenges should be greeted in stride while open to joy with a smile.[5] The final line, "life is but a dream", is perhaps the most meaningful. With a religious point of view, life and the physical plane may be regarded as having equivalent value as that of a dream, such that troubles are seen in the context of a lesser reality once one has awakened.[6] Conversely, the line can just as equally convey nihilist sentiments on the meaninglessness of man's actions. Some have questioned the song's implied necessity to row one's boat downstream. This may in fact be a commentary on the paradoxical nature of time's arrow with respect to man's free will in a universe of materialistic causality.[7]

Don't Rob Another Man's Castle Lyrics by Eddy Arnold