Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday: A Beginning and an End

Is Monday the beginning of the week or the end of the weekend?

Zoe and I can't decide.

We had a nice weekend, packed with activities and FUN. Plus some staying home to just pet Animals and have good conversations.

It all started on Thursday night with a visit to our local brewery called Brewerie for the bi-annual Arts and Drafts, which Zoe and I decided we are going to participate in this coming Spring.

Arts and Drafts consists of Art, Music, and Beer. How can you go wrong? You really can't.

Local artists hang their work in one part of the building, which coincidentally, is the old train station and a gorgeous building, and on the other side of the bar, some of our most wonderful local musicians played. Of course, the Heliotropes played, but also my friend MusicMiles (formerly known in this blog as HealthCoach) and his friend, Brad. I took some pretty substandard video of them playing, which you may get to see on Flip Friday this week if I can put it all together.

MusicMiles playing a shaker thingie.
Oh, and looking Super Cool.

On Saturday, the Blisschick and I went to see a movie-- Julie and Julia. We found it to be delightful! Funny, interesting, and a good story. Perfect for a rainy afternoon.

Saturday night was spent hanging out with more good friends and included a dip in a hot tub as well as a very cute poodle.

Now, I know you're wondering-- with all this running around, were the Cats and the Rabbit really getting enough Attention?

Well, that was our question, too. Which is precisely why we were glad to stay home on Sunday and do a bit of Resting and Creating.

Sunday held its own excitement, though, in the form of interviews. There was this interview of the Blisschick and me, which we wrote together.

Then, there was the Blisschick's interview on Dirty footprints Studio BlogTalk Radio with Connie and Andrea about their Creative Dig Workshop. That's coming up soon, but there's still time to register.

Zoe said it's all too much. She doesn't care if Monday is the Beginning or the End of the Week.

She just wants more attention.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Flip Friday

Friday is a beautiful thing.

Especially when you have the day off and both weekend days free.


So, to start off the weekend right, here is a video of all the Lilypad's Mammals featured one by one to a song called Mammal. It was rainy here yesterday when we made the video, so it's sort of a documentary of what the Mammals here in the Lilypad do when it's raining.

It doesn't get much better than this.

What are your plans this weekend?

Whatever they are, I hope they bring you Fun and Excitement.

Those of you out there with Rabbits may have more Fun than the others, but, then again, maybe not.

Without any further introduction, then here they are. ENJOY!!

Rainy Day Mammal Activities from marcy hall on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm Mooollttiinngg...!!!

It seems like everyone around here is molting.

Inside the Lilypad, Miss Zoe is molting:

Loose hair galore!

See the Molt Ridge across her nose?

Outside the Lilypad, while trimming the hedge, we found this little fellow who had molted.

Believe it or not, there's no body in there!

See the split at the top where the little dude crawled out?

And just blocks away, friendBob has a tarantula named Peter Parker who just molted. I don't have a picture of that, but hearing about it was pretty funny. He said it left such a perfect shell of itself that when he looked into the tank, he didn't even know which was the old skin and which one was the real tarantula!

That's kind of how it was with the cicada pictured above. He left his whole little suit behind.

Not so, however, with Miss Zoe. (Though, wouldn't you like to have an unused Rabbit Suit to pet? Can you imagine it just zipping off like a 1970's one-piece Leisuresuit?)

And, also, not so with my Etsy store.

Did you just get conversational whiplash?!? (I know-- you were still back on the Leisuresuit image. Me, too!)

I got conversational whiplash, and I even wrote it!

So what does my Etsy store, Ordinary Enchantment, have to do with molting?

Easy. It's molting, too. See the relation?

We're having a sale to shed off the old and bring in the new!! I have tons of new ideas for new WeeArt paintings, so Blisschick announced to me over the weekend, "Let's have a sale!"

Miss Zoe and Miss Lilly shouted together in their best announcer voices: "EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!!!"

Since Blisschick beat me to the punch by announcing this little sale on Monday, a few things have sold already. But not to worry!! There's still a few things left.

As for what's coming next, Zoe and I have plans to start this weekend.

I assure you. It will be hair raising. Or should I say hare raising?

Hair. Hare. Whatever.

Monday, August 24, 2009

No Regrets. Only Rabbits.

Not to depress those of you who absolutely love Summer, but the Canada Geese flying over the Lilypad in their big, honking Vs would say that Autumn seems to be on the way.

Ahhhhh....... and won't that be a relief?

Now, don't get me wrong. I love Summer. I love sunshine! I love hot, humid weather! I love waking up at 4:30AM and it's sort of light out already.

OK, that last thing might just be proof of psychosis. Whatev.

The point is, we here at the Lilypad love Summer, yes. But we also love the hibernation that comes with the rest of the year. And this year, we are super-extra looking forward to it.

Remember a couple of months ago, when I said I was going to forgo painting for while to concentrate on writing? To really, really buckle down and work on my novel?

Of course I had a hard time not painting. It's a part of myself that I really cannot forgo just for the sake of convenience. But the point was to write more. I even took unpaid leave hours at work to come home early everyday and get right to work.

Did I do it?


The Deadly Rabbit Stare

(Oh, no, the STARE!!)

Well you see I tried, but I was... I mean we were so.... I mean....


Well, Zoe has every right to Stare at me. I didn't really fulfill my promise to myself to focus. To concentrate. To work my butt off in an effort to do my thing. Or things, I could say.

But, I'm not going to take it too hard. We had a strange Summer. Even as I write that, I know that that's not necessarily the reason. Every Summer is strange. Full of events and festivals and parties and visits from friends and family and just wanting to sit out in the yard for goodness sake and relax in the Sunshine.

I could spend my time feeling really bad about this fact. Feeling like a loser.

But where's the fun in that?

Maybe the lesson I could learn from this is that it's just that it's Important not to judge Oneself for... well.... resting. That it's Important to take a deep breath, think about what direction I want to take now, and just start again.

With no regrets. No judgments of Self.

Leave the Judging to the Rabbit.

It's kinda what they do.

I mean come on. Did you see that Stare?

Just in case you missed it the first time!

Now, that's a professional. Leave it to her. You? You just go about your business.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flip Friday

Is it Friday already?

Miss Zoe has been a little dismayed not to have been the star of all the movies on the most recent Flip Fridays.

We have featured Guy Dancing at Jazz and Blues Fest.

We have featured our new fave band, the Heliotropes.

We have even featured Zoe's own Beautiful Cats.

All good stuff, I think. Entertainment.

"The thing is," she said to me as we were meeting to plan this week's cinematic features, "I thought this was Ordinary Enchantment, Starring Special Guest, Miss Zoe. The Rabbit. You know-- ME."

I gave this some thought. I got Zoe's brush down off the Red Cabinet and began to brush Her slowly. I took off enough fur to make a new Rabbit, and then I stopped. She sat quietly, eyes closed. But I could feel the pressure of Her Stare, nonetheless.

"So, what were You thinking?" I asked.

I know. I'm bad. But she sets herself up for this kind of teasing. She really does.

She sat up and began to wash Her Ears slowly. The left Ear. The right Ear.

I waited patiently.

Without looking at me, she sighed. "I think you know what I mean."

She hopped to the hay, took a long, stiff drink from Her Critter Canteen, and then squiggeed Her extremely cute self down into the soft, edible Nest.

She made her point. She has a way of doing that quite effectively.

So, feature #1 is for our friend Marnie, who has a Rabbit named Penny, who loves figs. She gave me one the other day when I saw her at the Whole Foods Coop. They are Penny's favorite thing. What did Little Zoe think of fig? Watch and see:

And second, after a little fig, Miss Zoe needed a palette cleanse. Willow Ball pieces always fit that bill:

So, it looks like Miss Zoe got Her way. Aren't you glad?

I thought so.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Miss Emmie

Miss Emmie busts a move.

OK, I think Miss Zoe and I have beaten around the bush here and there about our Crazy Cat, Emmie for long enough.

Shall we Begin at the Beginning?

Yes, we shall.

We have an unwritten rule in this house. Actually, it may be a written rule. I'm not sure.

The rule is this: Don't look a Stray Cat in the Eye.

You may ask, "Who made up this rule?" Well, that would be the Blisschick.

Which explains why (or, maybe it doesn't explain why) I was at work a few years ago and I got a call from a very anxious sounding Blisschick, who yelled into the phone, "Frog! There's a cat in the hedge in the backyard with seafoam green eyes, and I looked right at her!"

Well, I knew what that meant, didn't I?

After spending days trying to catch her and finally doing so, we took her to the vet and got her de-everythinged. We had a friend who was all set to take her. We brought her home from the vet, unzipped the carrier, and the Blisschick said, "Welcome home, Miss Emmie!"

Emmie and her friend, Woolly Ball.


The other cats couldn't believe it. They did not want another cat. Not in the least!!

Especially when they found out that Miss Emmie was crazy! Absolutely NUTTERS!!

But, it seemed we had a new cat. Emily Dickinson. The Woman in White.

I wish I could say that she wasn't crazy right away. But, she was. She would stare in the most unsettling way at all the other animals. I remember spending more than a few almost sleepless nights downstairs on the couch in some strange effort to protect the other animals at night. I would drift off in fits and starts only to to open my eyes and find myself being stared at by a totally psycho looking animal. Miss Emmie had found a home.

It wasn't until a couple of years later that she first bit her tail.

We had gone out of town and left Miss Emmie and the others (Miss Zoe did not live here yet) in the care of our Trusted Catsitter. The day after we got home, Miss Emmie started growling and hissing and totally wigging out. All of a sudden, she bit her tail squarely on the tip, almost biting it off, as she proceeded to run around the house painting everything in sight with blood and her tailbrush.

It was NOT pretty! Like a live cat-painted Jackson Pollock.

We took Miss Emmie to the vet ER, where she got her Cone:

The Cone!!

The Vet explained that Miss Emmie has is a neurological disorder called Wiggle Cat Syndrome or some such. He said that to her, her tail feels numb and that she probably doesn't realize it's even there. Her back muscles all along her spine get twitchy, she gets agitated, and then-- BAM! The tail goes into the mouth, and the rest is history.

Bloody Tail Massacre.

We even have special clothes deemed "Blood Clothes" for those times when the world seems extra dark to Little Emmie.

Luckily, after many years of this, we have a good system in place. We use Bach's Flower Remedy (or Cat Whiskey, as we like to call it) to take the edge off when Emmie gets extra pissed off at her tail. A few drops behind the ear and she passes out like a baby after a big lunch.

Besides that, we've learned how smart she is. When she feels poorly, all you need to do is hold the Cone out toward her, and she practically dives into it. The limited space seems to comfort her.

Sometimes, when she doesn't have her cone handy, the Cat Tent does just fine:

Look at that cute little cat.
She is hiding from her tail. Will it follow her anyway?
Hmmmmmm.... poor Miss Emmie.

And of course, we also keep her shaved, because, besides being a little crazy, she's also a bit lazy about grooming.

And, of course, by lazy, I mean she doesn't groom at all.

This regular shearing process has earned her her other nickname: The Lamb

We love our Lamb very much, and it is for this reason that we feel the need to explain her. If one can explain such an Animal.

Miss Zoe would like a chance to explain the Lamb. What was that, Zoe?

"That Cat? It's just a Crazy Cat.
But, we love Her.
I'm just sayin'."

Right you are on all accounts, Miss Zoe. Right you are.

Monday, August 17, 2009


This weekend was our city's annual festival to Celebrate Itself-- CelebrateErie!

Zoe is now convinced that there should be an annual, or even weekly, festival to Celebrate Herself--

I think that might already exist.

"A Rabbit deserves a Festival in My Opinion!"

Anyhow, we went down to the fest yesterday to see the sights and to hear a little music, so we thought we'd share some pictures.

First, a few shots of some of the ChalkWalk art pieces. Local businesses sponsor artists to draw awesome chalk renderings of all kinds of scenes right on our main street. If it doesn't rain, you can sometimes see these drawings for weeks after! Here's a few of our favorites:

And second, I shared a video about two weeks ago of a guy dancing at the Jazz and Blues Fest, and in that post, I said that usually, he is dressed in more of a suit and playing the trumpet. Here is that guy in his alternate outfit:

If you haven't watched the video of him dancing, it is certainly worth your time. Zoe has watched it more than once.

After doing some strolling, we plopped down at a table in the park to fan ourselves and listen to the Heliotropes play in the park's gazebo, while we munched on some artichoke dip from one of our local restaurants.

It was approximately 1,000,000 degrees with matching humidity.

As we sat there fading away, I kept thinking of Miss Zoe, back at home in her Air Conditioned Rabbit Room. She was resting comfortably, far, far away from the noisy crowds. What a good Rabbit.

We didn't stick around after the music was over. The main Sunday night act was Country Music, which is something neither the Blisschick nor I are particularly fond of. On Saturday night, it was Three Dog Night, which we had planned on going to see, due to the fact that the Blisschick loves their song Joy to the World, or the Bullfrog Song, as we call it, because it reminds her of being little.

But then, somehow the Cats and the Rabbit talked us into staying home that night.

I wonder how that kind of thing happens?

It can't be that we are under Their Control!

It can't be!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

100th POST!!!

Today is my 100th post.

Sorry, OUR 100th post.

To celebrate that, I would like to talk about Something New.

Something Now.

Something Totally Happening.

I would like to talk to you about....Rabbits and Cats!!!

Surprised? Not as surprised as I was, let me tell you. :)

OK, so it may not be New, but it is Now and Happening. Admit it.

Seriously, today is Flip Friday, and Zoe and I have a couple of great movies to share. But before that, I want to rewind to last week's Flip Friday movies.

One of last week's Flip Friday movies starred our beautiful gray and white cat named Miss Rosie.

Miss Rosie will be 17 in September.

She has a meow that we call the Non-Apologetic Smoker Meow. In order to explain that, let your mind use this illustration: Picture your favorite diner. Now picture the 50-60 year old waitress who's worked there her entire life who's been smoking menthols since she was 10. See her, up in her room blowing smoke out the window when her parents weren't home?

She's been smoking since she was 10, remember. She likes it. She's never tried to quit. Doesn't want to. No apologies.

What would her meow sound like? Can you hear it?

That's Rosie's meow.

Anyhow, a couple of people made comments regarding Rosie's Great Beauty. So, to showcase that very thing, I took a few glamour shots of Miss Rosie to really show off her X-Treme Cute-osity. They are as follows:

What did I tell you?

To counter that, Miss Zoe would like to interject this and this:

It's always a Cat/ Rabbit, Rabbit Cat Struggle for Cuteness, is it not?

Well, without further delay, Zoe and I present to you two movies:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Raise your hand if you LOVE bunnies!!

(Are your hands in the air? I thought so.)

Yesterday, Zoe got mail.

This particular mail was from Her friend, Derby, who lives with the Very Cool Carly (a.k.a Ketzirah, a Priestess, M’agelet, Artist, and Guide--check out her amazing site!) and Art (An extremely talented Woodworker and Furniture maker-- check out his site, too!!) Derby is also an Urban Rabbit who (obviously) enjoys the Finer Things in Life. He and Zoe have much in common as you can imagine.

Miss Zoe gets quite excitable when mail comes for Her. When I saw the postcard with her name on it, I ran up the stairs and yelled out to the Blisschick: "MailmanRickcameandMissZoegotmail!!!!"

Just like that. All in one word.

Miss Zoe, intrigued by the ruckus, hopped to the gate. She looked from side to side. Then, she hopped back to her Chalet.

One doesn't want to let on that excitement is being experienced. Especially if One is a Rabbit.

Please, let me now unfold for you the Anatomy of Rabbit Excitement:

The Snub:
It says, "I don't see that.
And, if I do, I am totally uninterested."

The Sniff:
It says, "This doesn't look edible.
But, just in case..."

The Roll:
It says, "YAY!! Derby wrote, and
I just can't contain myself."
(Sorry about the blur. Action shot, you know.)

The Cool Recovery:
It says, "Excitement? I know
not of what you speak.
Silly human!"

and finally

The Ignore:
It says...well... I think you know what it says.

And, there you have it. For those of you who aren't too familiar with Rabbits, I hope you found this primer to be a helpful one.

For those of you already familiar with Rabbits, I hope this reminds you, simply, of your Insignificance.

Thanks again to the Very Handsome Derby for making Miss Zoe ROLL!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Big Announcements and Such

This weekend, the Lilypad was all abuzz with ideas!!

Due to the Blisschick's and Connie's BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, it was like there was electricity in the air. The Blisschick was flapping around Doing Things, and asking me questions, and talking incessantly, and in the middle of it all, we got an idea for... Something Else, which we're not sharing yet.

What is all this Announcement Business anyway?

And that was all cool.

Miss Zoe and I did some painting. We are almost done with our Portrait of a Certain Someone. If I hadn't had to work at the Library yesterday, we might have finished it. But then, it was also, like 1000 degrees here yesterday with about 150% humidity. So we might also have melted into a puddle on the floor. (Needless to say, I was glad to work in a lovely geo-thermally cooled building for the day!)

Also, the wine was ready to bottle, so we took care of that. Miss Zoe did not help with that, as she is much too small to hold the siphon or use the corker. Also, she's not much interested in Helping, per se. Miss Lilly, however, looked on with much interest. She tried to get a sip here and there, but was foiled.

No one needs a drunk cat in the house.

We bottled 28 and a half bottles of Chianti. YAY!!

Below, you see the corker. It may be, like a Portuguese Corker or something. I can't recall it's Title. Nevertheless, it looks a little like a torture device. Le Corker!! And, I guess it is a torture device for corks, now that I think about it. You drop a cork into that little black hole you see, and it squeeeeeeeeezes the cork and shoves it right into the bottle. The Blisschick loves to use the Corker!

Besides the Blisschick Excitement and the Painting of Portraits and Bottling Wine, we were also informed that it was Leave a Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Porch Day at some point recently. So, we took advantage of that day by leaving a little something for Neighbor Bill:

So far, sadly, we don't think he's been on his back porch to notice it. Sigh.

Stupid Zucchini!

It better never be
Leave a Bunny on Your Neighbor's Porch Day.
I'm just sayin'.

That was Our Weekend in Review.

How about you? Did anyone else leave a zucchini for a neighbor?

I think there's still time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Flip Friday

Zoe can't even believe this.

It's Friday, (that is Flip Friday) and there' Video.

OK. Wait. Don't pick up that rotten tomato yet-- PLEASE!! Put it down!

Miss Zoe is The Star. We all know that. Everyone is clear.

But, there's lots of other animals in the house, plus other things that go on outside of the house. Though it seems impossible, it's true!

So, we (yes, I'm including Miss Zoe in that "We," though she's not sure she wants to be included) have 3 videos for you today.

The first, as I promised on Wednesday, is a short, very short, too short clip of the Heliotropes from my most recent viewing on the Steps of our beautiful Erie Art Museum. This clip stars Katie Chriest and Sheldon Peterson singing the original Heliotrope song, "Instead of Wrong." I wasn't planning on filming, and then I decided to, so it's not a terribly good clip, but it gives an idea of Katie's voice and Sheldon's guitaring. Awesome!!

Visit the Heliotropes' myspace page for more music and upcoming show dates!

Next up are two videos taken by the Blisschick!!

The first is one of a Guy Dancing at Erie's Jazz and Blues Fest, which we attended last weekend. You can't really see his outfit too terribly well, but you can surely see his clunky, gold bike helmet. And the juxtaposition of the formal Mickey Mouse vest with the basketball shorts is nothing but genius. At the point in the video in which he spreads his arms wide (wait for it!) you'll see that he holds a giant ice cream cone in one hand and a Tootsie Pop in the other. This guy's got a lot going on. Most nice days in the Summer, you can catch this same guy in a three piece suit playing the trumpet somewhere in the downtown area. You may want to watch this one more than once. I've watched it many times, and it never seems to get old!

And last, but Most Importantly, is a short clip of Miss Rosie and Miss Lilly, doing whatever it is Cats do when I'm not home and the Blisschick is filming them.

Up next week? MISS ZOE, of course. She won't let me go 2 weeks in a row. No Way!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Day in Pictures

It's been a hectic day. Sometimes that happens.

I'm finally getting around to writing this post, and it's already after 5PM.

You see, last night, Zoe and I agreed that she would be in charge of writing today.

But then, she didn't quite get around to it. I asked her what came up, and all she would say is this: "Something Super Important."

I have no idea what that means, do you?

Well, no matter. I understand that she is Super Important and has Super Important Stuff.

Super, Super Important, even.

OK, so what I thought I would do is illustrate my day in photos.

First, I went to work. But on my lunch hour, I walked a couple of blocks up the hill on State Street to the Erie Art Museum. On the stairs for a lunchtime concert were 2 Heliotropes (in case you've missed out on my last couple of mentions of the Heliotropes-- there's usually 4 or 5--, they are my new favorite band. And, they are LOCAL ERIE-ITES!! Even Better!!):

2 Heliotropes jamming in the sunshine!
(A short video of them will surface for Flip Friday!! Stay tuned!!)

After a lovely bike ride home, my parents stopped by to drop off my most excellent kayak, The Loon:

The Loooooooooooooon!!!!

And, now, after I write this, it will be time for a little painting before dinner. The Blisschick is downstairs dancing (like a loon!) and Miss Zoe and I will do a little painting. We're working on a bit of a portrait of....well...someone:

Our cat will probably visit, too:

And lastly, Miss Zoe would like to reveal to you, her Loyal Followers, a wee glimpse into what she calls her Super Important Stuff.

Turns out, it is this:




Well, I guess that is Super Important. Therefore, we will excuse Miss Zoe from her writing assignment. Clearly, I should do my own work, yes?


Monday, August 3, 2009

Jazzfest and Giant Zucchini-- What's the Link?

Ah, Monday.

Who knew it would come so fast?

I guess it normally follows Sunday, but even so, I could have used another day.

I worked at the Library all day Saturday, but our Sunday was wonderful. Although, when we woke up, it was raining, and we feared it might foil our afternoon plans. Our plan was to spend the afternoon and evening at the Erie Art Museum's Blues and Jazz Fest.

"Zoe," I said to her at about 1:00 PM, "do you think you could do something about this weather? You know, maybe help to clear it up? Maybe just move some clouds away?"

She looked up from munching her Lunch Salad and stared at me.

Then she said, "Bring me a sacrifice, then. Isn't that how these things work? It's either that or you have to dance, and frankly, I'd rather not see you dance."

Back to munching the salad. She had spoken.

And, so, I went off in search of a sacrifice. Earlier, we found this lurking in the neighbors' garden, and I took it up to Miss Zoe:

"This is not exactly what I had in mind when I said 'sacrifice.'"

A Disclaimer: Don't fret. We don't just go around the neighborhood pinching people's Giant Zucchinis or other Random and Large Veg. It might seem that way. It also might seem like a Wallace and Grommit movie. But, seriously, our neighbors are out of town and told us that they didn't want to see any Giant Zucchinis in the garden when they got back, and that we were to take them and use them. Truthfully, I'm hoping to get this 2 foot Zucchini cut down to size before it eats one of the Cats or the Rabbit. Or, the Blisschick. I feel sure I can fight it off.

The moral of this story is this: Don't try to bribe Your Rabbit or any Rabbit You May Know with a giant Zucchini. They don't really make a great sacrifice. A Willow Ball would have served the purpose much better.

Miss Zoe did not clear the clouds away. It even rained a bit on our way to the fest.

We set up our chairs in what we anticipated would perhaps later be a sunny spot. I was sitting under the overcast sky and was really starting to regret the Sacrificial Zucchini Mistake, when I heard Miss Zoe's little voice in my head (She has Telepathic capabilities, you know).

"Oh, Good Grief. Alright. But I'd better get that Willow Ball soon, or, well, you don't want to know what."

And then, the sun came out.

Thanks, Miss Zoe.

We enjoyed the rest of the Festival in the comfort of the Sun until the Blisschick got too hot and we had to move into the shade.

We heard the end of the Valerie Horton Brown Project, and then full sets from three other bands, including our new favorite local band, the Heliotropes, the Tessa Souter Quartet, and finally Elaine & Susan Hoffman Watts and the Fabulous Shpielkehs. (The last act was Klezmer music, which Zoe absolutely loves. I think the weather clearing had a lot to do with her wanting to be able to hear the music through her open window. Hey-- whatever works.)

So, what did you do that was fun this weekend?

OK, it's a little scary. Time to make some mini loaves of bread.