I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

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Friday, January 13, 2012


We can do the best preparations in the world, but if our brains aren’t in the game, that preparation isn’t going to do us a lot of good. It’s hard to consider follow through on action plans when my brain feels like a bag of gray worms hibernating for the winter. Maybe this recent train of events might explain a bit of my frame of mind lately…

My tea kettle had a plastic trigger to open the spout, which I broke at some point. I got some wire and twisted a new trigger for it since the whistling part was still working. The wire could get very hot while boiling water, but I figured I’d solved my immediate problem.

Mary Lou came over and didn’t understand the new rules for pouring boiling water. I tried to explain the proper method, but she opted to buy me a new tea kettle for Christmas that year. Life went on. Many pots of tea were brewed. Some eggs were hard boiled in it too. All was perfectly functional in the realm of tea kettles until the day I set the water on and then spent a couple of hours in my studio. I went into the kitchen to refill my glass and dimly wondered what the odd smell was in the kitchen, but PhotoShop was calling me. I didn’t have time to worry about odd smells when I had IDEAS that needed creating.

Sometime later, my glass needed refilling again, and the odd smell seemed stronger. PhotoShop was still calling me, but I absent-mindedly looked around the kitchen to discover that the stove was still on high and the tea kettle I had put on hours before looked something like a crashed UFO, with the plastic handle oozing a toxic lump into the cracks between the burners. My puppy Penny looked up at me with a doped up, questioning look about why I was making such a malodorous art project on the stove. I looked at it for a while before feeling an external, imaginary poke in my back to turn off the burner and get rid of the toxic waste.


After much scrubbing and windows open in winter (again!), my house seemed safe for human and puppy habitation once more. The aloe plant sacrificed another limb to salve my burnt finger when, of course, I picked up something I knew was very hot. Sometimes I don’t feel very connected to the mundane things of this planet. Did I mention I had IDEAS? Who needs to think about “hot” when there are important things to get done?

When life had returned to a shade of normal, I did the natural thing and called Mary Lou to tell her the tea kettle bit the dust. I offered to share responsibility with her for its demise, but for some reason, she seemed to think I needed to shoulder the full responsibility myself. She didn’t see the simple logic that I couldn’t have melted the tea kettle if she hadn’t given it to me in the first place. Some people just try to duck blame no matter what, though it was nice of her to give it to me in the first place.

I found the old tea kettle in the basement and boiled some more water. The special knack required to open it seems to require a skill that I’ve allowed to rust in the intervening years, but I have tea again. The old kettle is polished up and pretty on the stove, and I’m choosing to see my wire handle as a sign of my can-do problem solving abilities. Or… maybe I should switch to Kool-Aid? Wait! Kool-Aid, colors, IDEAS!!!


BTW, my apologies if you've left a comment that didn't appear on the screen. Blogger is trying to protect me from people I like and choking when I try to see those messages. I appreciate everyone's comments!


  1. " She didn’t see the simple logic that I couldn’t have melted the tea kettle if she hadn’t given it to me in the first place. Some people just try to duck blame no matter what, though it was nice of her to give it to me in the first place."

    Ahh you are such a scream Linda. I like your way of thinking very much. And the picture - ahh t hat's my brain, I was wondering where I left it. I must have washed it down the sink and it washed it's way to your place.

    When I was about ninteen I broke the switch on my study lamp. When I looked down into the innards I could see the contact point. It was a small metal lever thing that obviously the broken plastic switch pressed.

    So I did the intelligent thing. I stuck my finger down the hole ....

    You ever been thrown across the room by an inanimate object? Me neithr.. till then.

    I blame the school system for making me study for my near death experience.

    Good luck with the new old kettle.
    It's great to make our mark on the world.
    It's the details that count.

    see you!

    PS lookingforward to your first collection of short stories. It will be a great work!

  2. Great post, wonderful story, nice illustration. What else could I expect? Oh, tea! Thanks Linda. A bit of milk, no sugar please. :o)

  3. You're welcome anytime for a cup of tea Rand! Is powdered milk okay?

    I think we can blame schools for a lot of things, so why not your NDE Andrew? Makes perfect sense to me. Your story makes me feel a little bit of guilt for the time I convinced my brother to stick a needle in a electrical outlet to see what happened. Interesting effect. For some reason he blamed me for following my suggestion. Where's his free will? Obviously blame casting works better in only one direction :)

  4. I'll bring the 2%!

    Being the youngest of 4 brothers I was often on the other end of things (rub your stocking feet across the carpet, Rand, and then touch your tongue to this fireplace screen. It'll be fun!)

    Thanks to you and to Andrew for the laughs! Have a great weekend!

  5. I was 3rd of 7, so I got it and gave it :) On the other hand, I wasn't dumb enough to follow my sister's suggestion to lick the metal pole in winter. I hope you have a great weekend too!

  6. Thought provoking as always! I just microwave my tea water to avoid any abstract art melting onto my stove.

  7. Last year I managed to bubble the bottom layers of a good aluminum pot that had been one of my parents' wedding gifts because I'd got involved in a book and forgot that I'd put pasta on. Until the apartment filled with smoke. Yep.

    One of the few times in my life that I've been glad Mom isn't here anymore. I would have heard it from her, you'd better believe. A book? Really, Dee?...

  8. LOL My people! It's good to know I'm not alone. Thanks for the comments!

  9. What is a tea kettle compared to ideas? One much sometimes make sacrifices for the bigger good. Yes, and people shouldn't just impose tea kettles on others without acknowledge their responsibility. The question of course is how many times you will have to burn yourself on the tricky wire on the old kettle before someone brings you a new kettle again? And maybe you will have to say no this time. On the other hand, then, maybe burning kettles can bring about a whole bunch of marvellous ideas. Of course I don't know since I don't drink tea...

  10. LOL Otto! I should probably paint my crashed UFO tea kettle :)

  11. Glad you didn't burn the house down! I like that you sacrificed the kettle for IDEAS! :)

  12. Creative problem solving, love it!

  13. Thanks! I'm thinking the ideal situation would be IDEAS and remembering to turn off the tea kettle :)

  14. Great brain illustration Linda, i get the mass of redundant worms feeling most monday mornings, no matter how many organised lists i have written in preparation :)

  15. OH this is such a fun post..what a story, Linda!!! I love that you've got your old pot for a reminder of your can-do attitude and that you didn't hurt yourself too badly. Wow, I can only imagine how crazy that must've been to smell that smell and see the results on the stove. I think I've left water boiling til there's none at all left in the pot many times, too.

    Great illo as usual, Linda!! You make me surely think! : )

  16. When photoshop calls.... we must answer... no matter the cost :o) At least you were still able to have your rust... er I mean tea time :o) Another great post Linda! I like the design aspect of your brain.... not your’s I mean the one you illustrated... well I guess your’s too :o)

  17. Thanks everybody! Is anyone else having trouble with Blogger lately?

  18. I love the illustration and I knew, I'd leave here with a wonderful story! :)

  19. Oohh! Who thought brains could be so pretty?! What a lovely piece Linda :)