The Worst Way to Lose Five Pounds.

How I survived the Kavanaugh shit storm was by drinking a lot — LOT — of vodka. So much vodka, in fact, that I am getting concerned that I will come out of the Drumpf reign of terror with a serious drinking problem if I don’t do something about it soon, or eventually.

Along with vodka, of course, come potato chips. I went through a LOT of potato chips these past few weeks.  So, along with a devastating decline in my mental health, my health-health took a hit as things went from disgusting to deplorable to disastrous to downright dangerous for democracy.

Meanwhile, back at the used book store at the local library, someone donated a Kate Spade blank book which will figure prominently in this week’s blog:

So, getting back to my misery, two days ago I thought, hey, why not make myself feel even worse?, so I got on the bathroom scale to see how much  fat I had added to my woes (there are 3,830 calories in a Vivian-sized bottle of voddy, and 2,400 calories in a “pity party” sized bag of Lay’s potato chips).

And lo, I have lost five pounds in the past two weeks.

Talk about being conflicted.

Fuck you, Mitch McConnell, for slaughtering every American ideal that made us a light unto nations, but thanks for making my butt smaller?

Meanwhile, back at the used book store that I co-manage to raise money for our local library, someone donated a Kate Spade blank book. I had been hoping for a blank book because I want to book-art a Winter scene  that will be all white, and I’d been keeping my eye out for a blank book.

This Kate Spade blank book came in with an inscription on the end flap:

To Ali,

For Mexico and Barcelona, pls. fill in


Every single page of this blank book was left blank.


I was so excited about my all-white scene that I did not start building the castle right away. I began by making my Winter forest:

That’s my “sketch” tree there, the crappy one I made to work out my idea for Winter trees, which I will now show you how to make:

What I’m doing is cutting out several different sizes of snowflake-thingies, and I’m varying the patterns of the cut-outs.

I am using a lollipop stick to use as my guide in rolling up small tubes to use as the tree trunks

This is a terrible photo of three different sizes of snowfall thingies, each one with a little tube glued into the center:

This is what it looks like when the trees are assembled:

I made another variety of tree by cutting out two large snowflake thingies:

I put glue onto the “spine” of the first snowflake thingie (the fold, that is):

I attach the second snowflake thingie onto the first to make a snowflake-ball thingie:

Then I attach a flat trunk onto the snowflake-ball thingie:

So here’s the “forest’ so far:

And that’s as far as I got.

The reason I could get back to creating book art is because I quelled some of my blinding rage against Susan Collins by donating $20.20 to her Democratic opponent when she runs for reelection in 2020. It made me feel a lot better (but not as good as a huge V&T, which is the problem).

I looked out my upstairs bathroom window and saw this, on the garage roof, and it was a huge V&T for the eyes:

Yes, that is Taffy above. And this is Taffy (below) under the Adirondack chair during a light rain on Monday and yes, that small gray pile in the grass is Bibs during a light rain and yes, that’s Lickety, on the den patio table wondering, “Is it raining?”:

Dennis from next door had to get in on the nap party in the rain:

The next day, it wasn’t raining so Bibs and Taffy, who are mortal enemies, did this:

While Cindy and Candy did this on the living room couch:

And then Candy found a spot on the foyer floor that she preferred. This is Candy on Monday:

This is Candy on Tuesday:

This is Candy on Wednesday:

I took a photos on Thursday and Friday but I can’t find my camera and I really have to get this out to you but trust me, Candy on Thursday and Friday looked a LOT like Candy on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cats. They are a mystery.

Thank you all, Dear Readers Marcella, Alex, Megan, angry cat, Casey, Barbara Marie, Kirra, Mary, John, Leslie, Patricia, Elizabeth, Marg-o, Becky,and Margot, for your Comments last week. You all make my despair tolerable.

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. We need each other now, more than ever.



18 Comments, RSS

  1. Sandra

    You made me laugh out loud today and DoG knows we all could use a laugh. The vivian-sized bottle of vodka and the pity-party bag of chips is hilarious. You must tell us the secret to drinking and junk food that makes you lose 5 pounds n two weeks. I trust that you are in good health and are taking care to add some vegetable in between the V&Ts.

    That’s sad about the blank book but it’s wonderful for us. Those winter trees already look magical, a forest of them is going to be super-magical. Is there a word for that?

    My blood pressure went down looking at the photo essay of the Long Island Cat Herd. They are doing a great job of being cats and not giving a shit. I want to curl up in the grass, butt to butt with Taffy.

    • Vivian

      Taffy is at my elbow as I type this, curled up on the back of the couch next to me, cleaning his mittens and purring to himself. He is a magical cat.

  2. Kirra

    It is very sad that he actually got made a judge. I was listening to a favourite Australian podcast and they were talking about it as ‘what the Republicans are happy to let slide’ as if the way a man treats women isn’t that important (eg Trump and Kavanaugh), and these horrible men can still be ‘successful’ in their career. Depressing and disgusting to be around for this, you deserve the vodka and chips if you’ve been following it closely! I’m horrified and I’m not in the US where it would be much bigger news.

    Thank you for sharing your intricate snowflake trees (I’m guessing you can buy lollypop sticks? Or did you have to eat the lollypop?) and your delightful cats. I am with Candy that looks like a very nice half sun/half shade spot with some greenery too.

    I think Ali might have been too busy doing fun things in Mexico and Barcelona to have time to write in the blank Kate Spade book. I do think the inscription is a bit funny ‘pls fill in’, as obviously it’s for writing in – so is she supposed to be writing something in particular? Or did her dad just want her to write about her trip. Intriguing…..

    • Vivian

      I used to love Tootsie Pops. My favorite flavor was orange, so I’d inspect every bag for the one that had the most orange ones. But it’s been years since I had one, and I found that old stick in the cigar box where I keep my “tools” (ha! It’s a screwdriver and a little hammer) and I knew immediately that I could use it for tree-making.

      When I travel I always keep lots of notes but I could never write in a blank book. Maybe it’s because I’m left handed and the book’s spine is very intrusive…and maybe because filling up a hard-back book is intimidating. Still, I wonder why Ali didn’t at least use it as a scrapbook for all er tickets, museum receipts, postage stamps, etc. Maybe she didn’t go to Mexico and Spain after all?

  3. Megan

    Cats! I love Taffy and the others too and Dennis, Taffy is a smart cookie isn’t he, an adirondack umbrella, smart. I feel so bad for the Kate Spade book, and Dad, what fun did Ali get up to to not write a single word. I love a travel diary, you can look back on all the minute detail you forgot, or am I weird? I am so surprised about your new diet! I am trying to loose a bit of weight to get into a dress I want to wear to a wedding in December… I cut out bread and alcohol and put on weight. I’m taking up alcohol and chips, can’t go wrong can you? I am truly sorry about Kavanaugh and the potential troubles he can cause for generations to come. Commiserations. Focus on the cats they will lower your blood pressure and show that some things aren;t worth worrying about, we are all doomed, just lie in the dun with a nice drink and some nibblies. Paper crafts are also good for focusing on the task and not the insanity of the people in charge, their time will come.

    • Vivian

      I keep reading articles on line about how cutting out alcohol will let you drop 8 pounds in a week (or something like that). Nope. Not worth it. But I don’t recommend stress as a dieting tactic. The cats are all different weights — only Lickety and Cindy are fatsos, and the rest are normal, and Bibs is down right skinny. So maybe every one of us has our own ideal weight and that’s that.

  4. Barbara Marie

    In case you’re wondering where those five pounds might have gone–good news! I got ’em–just let me know when you can pick ’em up! Thanks.

  5. OK, the cat pictures are FABULOUS. What is up with that little patch of ground between the two plants? Cats are indeed a mystery.

    Malnutrition will certainly take off the pounds but I wouldn’t advocate it. If ever there’s a time that called for numerous stiff voddie tonics, though, this is it. (I’m choosing gin myself.)

    LOVE your paper forest! Again, your skills amaze.

    • Vivian

      Something tells me that you need a cat, Steve. Or a friend with a cat that you can “borrow” every now and then, like I need to find a friend with a golden retriever who I can schedule play dates with.

  6. Casey

    It’s no coincidence that it was the Russians who invented vodka. They are probably the most miserable people on earth, after all that they have been through and are still going through, from the czars to the communists to the oligarchs. So of course they came up with the most potent way to deal with bad governments, evil politicians, and dishonest elites. Yay Russia.

    The cats and the snowflake trees are awesome. I do not have the steady hands to cut those tiny snowflakes but ah, I can understand how soothing it must be to concentrate on creating beauty rather than contemplate the ugliness of the Trump administration. History is on our side, yes it is, but the going is slow.

    I’m glad that you are here for me, you and your herd help me get through the week.

    • Vivian

      I heard that Russians have a special verb for when they invite people over for drinks and a good cry, but I’m not sure if that’s just an urban legend or not. but it seems like that would be a very Russian thing to do.

  7. becky

    The pictures of the herd had me in stitches. My dog hates to get her feet wet….and as for sleeping on the roof she barely leaves my side. In fact,This 60 lb. baby is sleeping on my lap as I write this. The pictures were relief from the daily shit show that is on everyday.
    The trees are phenomenal. I can’t wait to see the winter scene when it is done. You have so much patience. I have enjoyed seeing each creation.
    Interesting about the blank book from dad. Either nothing exciting happened to record….or Ali resented being told to write info on her trip.
    Stay strong….throw shade….vote

  8. Oh cats, a blank book, and paper trees all make me smile. I think we will all be drunks by the time this bad political scene is over. I actually snapped at one of my good friends for trying to be logical in a non-logical world. I don’t even feel sorry.

    • Vivian

      Lickety jumped up on the dining room table yesterday morning (no big deal, the cats are allowed on the table) but I was having breakfast and he dipped his tail into my tea and I snapped and screamed at him, so I know how that feels. I felt very bad and I apologized to him, and he forgave me. And then I started counting the hours until 5 o’clock.

      • I am surprised you aren’t having leaf change yet. For us in the Pacific NW we don’t always have such beautiful Fall’s if there is rain; but the lack of rain and cold night and warm days has done beautiful things this year. Thanks for visiting me at Delights of the Heart.

  9. Not that I don’t have anything else to do this week with art sale in six days, too many doc appointments and (yay) Cork Poppers in the offing… but I HAVE to make a tree. Those are SO pretty.

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