What makes a talisman?

When I was living in Israel, I had an artist friend who gave us a couple of lovely etchings. I liked them enough to frame them. I took down the pictures that had been there only to discover that the wall badly needed painting. We used gas heaters in those old houses because they were built many years before central heating. Most people back then used space heaters, usually gas. But they produced dirt and every few years, you had to repaint. So, we painted. After which the sofa needed reupholstering (our parrot had eaten pieces of it and the cats had clawed the rest).

By the time we got through with one thing and another, those free etchings were $3,000 free etchings. You have to be careful. Home repairs can quickly spiral out of control.

Today, it’s the bathroom. It’s our “main” bathroom — which is to say, the only room that has a bath, a toilet, and sink in one room. The other water closet is a toilet in tiny room in the corner of our “master” (but it’s a very small “master”) bedroom. Garry calls it “Marilyn’s bathroom” which means he has 100% occupation of the other room. He lets me keep a comb and brush on the sink and a towel on the rack. Otherwise, it’s his room.

He says it’s not true but I defy anyone to find anything in the “main” bathroom that is mine other than my comb, brush, and a big towel. I have long since given up any hope of co-ownership.

Meanwhile, I don’t have anything I would call a talisman. I think I might have had a Mogen David (pro: MOH-gan Da-VEED)  (to all you non-Jews, that’s what Jews call a “Jewish star”), but I was a teenager and it is long gone.

Currently, life is all about a bathroom vanity. We got a nice sink. Which we needed. Unfortunately, I measured the old sink incorrectly, so the new sink doesn’t fit the old vanity. It’s not much of a vanity, but at least it’s made of wood, not particle board.

I like the sink, though it’s two inches narrower than the vanity currently supporting it. Since the bathroom is very narrow, a narrower vanity might improve it. Thinking “how expensive could a simple little vanity be?”, I hopped online to look at the stuff Home Depot is showing.

I almost fainted. Shock. Horror. Are they serious?

Good grief! Hundreds of dollars and not for anything fancy. Just an 18 inch deep by 30 inch wide vanity made from plywood with wood doors. Probably not including a drawer (that would cost extra).

That’s a lot of money. I still have to fix the window and the front wall of the house and I owe the plow guy money.

At that price, is the vanity a talisman? Would installing it improve our luck? I was thinking it would just be a place to put the sink that looked better than the box it is currently sitting in. The cheapest vanity available $140 and that’s particle board. Painted white. Anything made of wood is upwards of $300 and most are a lot more than that. Many are more than $1000.

That’s when remembered the two free etchings. And how expensive they turned out to be. I can see this evolving into a full bath restoration. Not that we couldn’t use a new bathroom, but we need a lot of things.

Anyone have a money talisman? Wear it around your neck and money just falls your way.

Yeah, right.



What is your earliest memory? 

Getting lifted up very early in the morning by my mother. It was pre-words, but I have that image, but just that one image.

Which way does the toilet paper roll go? Over or under?

In front. Of course. Even the guy who invented it thought it belonged on top. The ONLY reason to put it the other way is to keep your cats from unrolling the whole thing. Then, it become permissible, but ONLY then.

What makes you feel grounded? 

Mud. Nothing like a boot or shoe covered in New England’s special black gooey mud to make me feel deeply grounded. Do I like feeling grounded? No, I do not. I prefer to feel airy. Springy. Light and fluffy! Mud, begone!

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

This picture of the Duke grinning his way into the heaps and piles of snow. What a face!

Happy Duke and Bonnie!


It is still snowing.

We had crocuses. I saw them between snows. But it’s cold and snowing again, so I’m not optimistic about their survival. And anyway, their time is just about over. Thus, I am happy to have a bouquet. At least there are colors in it.


Flowers from my birthday bouquet. Or, more to the point … the end of my flowers. The golden-yellow flowers are astroemeria (Thank you Judy!)

Blue (almost turquoise) daisy (hint of chrysanthemum below)

And of course the blue ones are daisies. The green is eucalyptus and if you take it out of the water, it dries out and you can store it more or less forever.