Rainbows Everywhere

The gardener and I have been married for ever so many years (vagueness is mandatory here), and this month we had our anniversary. We ate at a wonderful Lithuanian restaurant (I thought it was Ukrainian, but I was wrong). We also decided to choose our own anniversary gift. This is what I chose for myself.

A gorgeous light catcher custom-designed and crafted by Pauline at The Contented Crafter. I wanted something for my office, which is coral and black on ivory. When it arrived last week, I was ecstatic. Such a classy presentation, too. Pauline had the light catcher in a gauzy bag with the top of the piece tied to the bag so that it can just slip out and not be tangled.

I laid it out in a tray because the gardener wanted to hang it himself. (He doesn’t trust me with picture hangers, but the truth is that unless it involves a molly I think I am better at them).

My mother has arrived for a few weeks, and we had to put her in Perry’s room (my daughter’s room). Perry had to be moved into my office. He sleeps in there and also has his time-outs in that room now. So we decided to hang the light catcher in our living room instead.

As I inspected it on the tray I was thrilled to see how much of my personality Pauline imbued the piece with. As she describes it: “pinks and oranges and coppery hues; sea jasper beads, tiny coral beads, seashell pieces and masses of crystals.” The charms are a Russian nesting doll, a cat, an “I love cats,” a tiny book called “A True Story.” There are hearts and stars. Imagine!

And here is a close up of the top of it.

And here:

See the doll (for Doll God) and “I love cats” above?

Since my photos suck, Pauline sent me some better shots of the lovely! Click through the slideshow to see up close!


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Why did I want a light catcher?

Well, for one thing I had seen some of the photos of Pauline’s work and thought it beautiful.

Also, one of my favorite movies as a kid was Pollyanna, and the most memorable scene was the one about the prisms at Mr. Pendergast’s house. If you want to cut to the chase, start the video at exactly 2:40.


I’ve written about Pollyanna twice before haha! The Glad Game, or Happy Birthday, Pollyanna and Path to Gratitude

The light catcher is certainly living up to its name. It throws brilliant rainbows all around the room.

Mini rainbows on the floor

I love having my home filled with rainbows!

Also, I got the new issue of Tab in the mail. It’s quite an innovative literary magazine. It’s a series of beautifully designed postcards with poems and art. My photo is sort of upside down, but I don’t think it matters because the idea is that you pick up a card and read them one at a time. I have been carrying them around with me.

Here’s what I have to say about #amwriting. Before Mom got here I had completely restructured the memoir. It still needs a lot of revision, but the structure is radically different. Marie Bailey really helped me with her comments. Thank you, Marie! Check out her story, “Rapunzel, A Different Kind of Fairy Tale.” Extremely enjoyable and found at the new lit mag, The Disappointed Housewife. When I restructured, it was easy to see what scenes to get rid of. I jettisoned about 23,000 words and wrote another 3,000 so far. This means that I have now written about 310,000 words for this project. But it’s only 66,000 words right now. Good grief, get on with it and finish it, woman!


More information on Pauline at The Contented Crafter

A little about me: For a start, I’m a baby-boomer – you do the math – the number keeps changing and so do I!

I’ve had many incarnations as wife, mother, student, teacher, teacher trainer and mentor, curriculum writer and advisor, community hub developer, new worker trainer, and [whew!] life coach.  In between I painted, crafted, hand worked, gardened and generally tried to create beauty around me where ever I went.  Oh, I forgot to mention ‘world traveller’!

These days I’m [mostly] a very contented crafter and pursuer of serenity.  And of course, I live with Orlando, a now elderly Maine Coon cat of great distinction and forbearance and a most delightfully joyful pup who goes by the name of Sid-Arthur [yes, a play on Siddhartha for those of you who picked it up].  They feature prominently throughout this blog.

I’m retired now and happily spend my days doing whatever it pleases me to do.  Sometimes, in between my crafting projects, I still coach now and again, gratis, as a thank you for this blessed life I’ve been given.

I have had a most interesting life, from traumatic beginnings through the highs and lows of self discovery – learning to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions, learning to forgive and let go, learning to trust, learning to ‘be’.

I adopted this as my motto many years ago, it still fits:  Life is a school room and everything is a lesson to be learned.  Lessons will be presented in many ways and many forms until they are learned.  When a lesson has been successfully mastered, another lesson will be presented.  You will be tested.

What I have come to see is that some lessons will be tough, some will be fun. The secret is to maintain a sense of equilibrium with them all, no matter how they make you feel.

And in the end, it’s all been about learning how to be a ‘successful’ human being – and by ‘successful’ I don’t mean in a material way.  I mean in terms of understanding who and what I am and why I am here and what is the meaning of it all………. you know, all that existential stuff.

I consider myself to be counted amongst the most fortunate of people despite the fact that I live without much of the material wealth and supports that so much of the western world considers necessary. I enjoy to keep it simple these days!



Filed under #AmWriting, #writerlife, #writerslife, Art and Music, Literary Journals, Memoir, Writing, Writing goals, Writing Talk

80 responses to “Rainbows Everywhere

  1. Lovely! And I dearly remember Pollyanna and the Glad Game. Thanks!

  2. The prism scene in Pollyanna has never left me! Your suncatcher is absolutely wonderful. Thanks for mentioning the two literary magazines, too–I am looking forward to checking both out…

  3. One of our foster daughter’s favorite movies — and that’s one of her favorite scenes. I wondered if she’d find the movie too old fashioned but she loved it. She’d love your light catcher as well. 🙂

    • Oh, that does amaze me! Maybe she relates to the movie in some way. Ah, the prisms. So beautiful. Whoever thought up that scene (can’t remember if it’s in the book or not) was a genius.

  4. This post made me feel happy, Luanne. Happy Anniversary!
    Pauline’s light catcher is beautiful! Wow–and so clever with the cats and dolls. My cats would go crazy over it–I think it would be dangerous. 🙂

    I will have to come back to watch the scene. I don’t remember Pollyanna very well (sorry), though I always liked Haley Mills.

    Good luck with your memoir writing!

    • Yes, just watch that scene. It’s so beautiful. But of course the whole idea of Mr. Pendergast and of Jimmy and all, so wonderful. That’s why I didn’t put it in my office. it would have been down lower, and if he was too entranced with the lights and charms and all he would have gone after it. Where it is the cats only notice the rainbows ;). Thanks re the memoir. Project is once again on hold while Mom is here.

  5. I applaud your memoir restructuring efforts. As I’m discovering with my own, the work is better for it. From one Pollyanna enthusiast to another.

    • Oh, I’m thrilled to hear that you love Pollyanna, too, Carole!
      This is the biggest restructure I’ve done because it’s a reconceptualizing of the timeline of the “current” portion of the story. That changes so many things. Good luck with yours!

  6. Pauline’s work is so beautiful. Happy Anniversary, Luanne!

  7. Enjoyed your merriment, congratulations. Your gift to yourself will continue to bring light into your life.

  8. That’s a beautiful anniversary gift Luanne, with lots of thoughtful touches. I hope your re-structuring is going well 🙂

    • Out of all the things that impressed me with what Pauline did, I think the most was the personalization of the charms she used. It feels like such a perfect fit for me.

  9. Pauline’s light catchers are labours of love – so individually and thoughtfully tailored.

  10. ….and Happy Anniversary to you both

  11. That lightcatcher is lovely. I’ve never had such a thing. May have to find a spot for one! Of course, knowing me, I’d keep bumping my head into it. 😁

  12. Beautiful lightcatcher…I can see why you’re thrilled with it. And Happy Anniversary to you and your husband! (Must check out Pollyana, as the movie wasn’t one I saw). Have a great week!

    • Really interested in hearing your take on Pollyanna, as an adoptee. Pollyanna comes to her Aunt Polly (a grumpy lady who doesn’t seem to like children) after she is orphaned. It’s one of those orphan stories like Dickens, etc., in a way. You have a great week, too, Elaine!

  13. The lightcatcher is like a charm bracelet. So many conversation starters (or thought starters, if you prefer to be alone). As for the writing, it’s probably easier to cut words than to come up with new ones, so you’re doing well. And isn’t that what writing is about — rewriting and rewriting and rewriting? I find that even after I publish my novels I want to rewrite them. It never ends.

  14. WOW… love the light through the gems and the harmony of the metal decorations <3
    Happy Anniversary 😀

  15. I left a comment but it went into the big black hole of comments! The best gifts are the ones you pick out yourself and this one is gorgeous!

    • Although we have been married many many years, there is still no way that the gardener would have picked out this beautiful item. For one thing, he would have bought something he saw, rather than having it made FOR me, you know? So this was perfect. For his gift, he got what he wanted for the yard (as usual).

  16. Good Morning Luanne! Thank you so much for the praise and the pingback – and congratulations on the mumbley-mumble wedding anniversary…… 🙂
    Those light catchers are so hard to photograph aren’t they, it really only works in the real so to speak. Much easier to get a shot of the rainbow comets I think. I have one extra long one hanging in my entranceway/conservatory which people constantly bang their heads into, it just tinkles, swings and clocks them back and sends extra sparkles all over the place……….. Did you notice I included branches for your family tree research and leaf (or two?) for the people you investigate. There are charms there to celebrate the gardener too, flowers and a Star of David and also The Tree of Life, both for the genealogy and the Jewish connection….. It was such a pleasure making it for you, thank you for your trust in my work and your kindness in spreading the word. xoxo Oh, and I’m so sorry I completely forgot to send through your requested photo and blurb – but really you didn’t need it 🙂

    • I have slowly noticed all those beautiful special items, Pauline! You are so amazing! If you do send me the photo and blurb, I will add it so it is in the post as long as its up! It’s up to you. So hard to photograph. That’s why I ended up using the photo of it lying on the tray because with the light pouring behind it, it’s difficult to capture an image! xoxo

  17. Pretty 🙂
    Happy Anniversary!

  18. Reblogged this on The Contented Crafter and commented:
    I thought I’d just quickly share this delightful post from my friend Luanne who is a gifted poet and writer. and she has a house full of cats too …….. I made her a light catcher and this is her response …..

  19. I’m so happy that Pauline at The Contented Crafter made me aware of your blog! I am, and maybe always will be, writing a memoir, too. Of sorts:) Nice to find you. Your light catcher is gorgeous and one of a kind! (Like its creator!)

  20. I’m lucky enough to have my own Pauline-created light catcher, so I know just the thrill you felt on receiving yours! Your post is a lot of fun to read–Pollyanna is my patron saint!

  21. There is nothing quite like Pauline’s danglers. I have 2 of them and they make me smile each and every day. You can see all the love and purpose that has gone into them with such detail. I also have one of her mixed media art pieces that is placed so everyone can see. They are stunning! She has a great and generous heart. I’m sure you will enjoy the dangler for years to come. Thank you for the little video on Pollyanna. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed those movies. I think I’ll have to look and see where we can find them again. Have a lovely weekend. Marlene

    • Hi Marlene, so glad you stopped by! Two of Pauline’s light catchers! They must really brighten all your days. The movie Pollyanna is a treasure. it affected me deeply for years afterward. I guess it still does. I’ll never forget Agnes Moorehead’s crabby character lying in bed “so ill,” but she was just miserable is all she was. Pollyanna turned her around! You have a lovely weekend, too!

  22. Hi Luanne, remember me?! It is sooooo good to be back here, how I’ve missed you my ‘old’ friend. The house move and other ‘stuff’ most of last year, heck, the past two years, knocked me pretty flat for a while. Even now in the aftermath, I’m feeling a bit lost with it all. Trying to make somewhat of a return to blogging. I loved your ‘get on with it woman’ line re the memoir. I feel exactly the same! Restructuring, rewriting, cutting loads, cutting and pasting, then deleting altogether. Arrrgh…wrote a ‘bridging’ chapter last week that originally was spread out over four chapters!!! I think I’m getting a feel for the ‘real’ story now, at last. I say I’m on the fourth draft, but it’s more than that. Still reworking the first three dreaded chapters, I say dreaded because I’ve changed them so many times and think, ah, I’ve got it, and then I don’t have it at all. I’ve missed you! Anyway, loved your post and what a beautiful light catcher. Pauline is an absolute angel and so talented. and the detail is just gorgeous. I really need to spend time at her shop, I have to have one of her new lightcatchers for my new office!!!!! Great to see you again Luanne <3 xoxo

    • I’ve missed you, Sherri! This whole memoir writing business kind of sucks all the other life out of one, doesn’t it?! I plan to keep working on it as long as it takes, but I honestly don’t know if I will ever try to publish it. It might just always be a “work-in-progress” haha. I haven’t written much in the past year, but got off to a good start on January 1. Unfortunately, I can’t write with my mother visiting here . . . . Hope you stick around this time, girl!!! xoxoxo

      • I’ve missed you too Luanne! I’m so glad you’re pressing on with your memoir too and I hope you will publish it oneday. Glad to hear you’re making a good start to the year. Mine was a little wobbly, but settling in now. But oh you are so right, it really does suck the life right out. We must be a little nuts to write memoir, ha! Lovely your mother is visiting, but I can’t write either during family visits. After all the upheaval of last year, I’m hoping things calm down, even though there’s a lot to do in the new place – that whole ‘making it your own’ thing. I’ll stick around here, you can’t get rid of me that easy, ha! 😀 xoxoxoxo

        • Mom is still here, so I am feeling a bit discombobulated ;). I hope to get that calm you mention after she goes home, but then it will probably be something else!

          • I know that discombobulated too well Luanne. Love that word btw, I had never head it until I lived in CA lol! I hope that calm arrives for you too…but life sure does have a way of interrupting our writing flow. I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already and I’m way behind with my goals for the week…and so it goes, sigh…

            • Things keep happening by the hour. Everything keeps me from what I want to do heh.

              • Same…then when I get some time to actually write, I get so nervous thinking ‘what next’ that I freeze up and spend most of the time settling into the writing so that there’s barely any left to actually write. Arrrgh…what to do? Move to a desert island? How does anybody do it? Hugs my friend xoxo

  23. That’s a gorgeous creation. Pauline is very talented.

  24. I love Pauline and remember how she came to America to Washington DC around three springs ago. I wish we could get another gathering together, crafts or gallery shop or art museum walk together. . . A coffee, tea and snack together.
    I am thrilled you ordered one of Pauline’s delightful creations! They embody much of your colors and character, Luanne.
    I am so glad you have a memorable anniversary gift for all time.
    Hope all goes beautifully with your mother’s visit. Hope Perry stays even keel, peaceful as well as the other kitties in the household. Big hugs sent your way. . . Happy February and belated happy anniversary wishes! ❤❤ 🌈
    Congratulations in reducing your memoir down to 66,000 words. What a wonderful surprise to be closer to publishing! I have passed your Kin Types and Doll God book to a few friends. 💞

    • Robin, I did not know that about Pauline coming to DC. I hope she comes to PHoenix next time :)! Mom has been here for awhile now and will still be here another couple of weeks. I’m getting very tired :)! That is so nice of you to pass my books on to others! As far as the memoir goes, I don’t know if I am getting closer or not. It might be a lifetime project ;). So happy to hear from you and hope all is well! xoxoxo

  25. Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful light catcher … and so clever with the Russian nesting doll and cat motifs! Pauline knows you well 😀 Thanks for the shout-out. I am so glad my comments on your memoir have been helpful. You’ve been working hard!

  26. Pauline works her own special magic into everyone of her light catchers. I have one in shades of green as one of the lucky bloggers that met her in DC a few years back. She made an extraordinary Halloween version as well for my birthday two years back. I’m a Halloween fanatic, but in a good way. Lovely to see your post. Alys

  27. Congrats on your wedding anniversary, Luanne! I always love that you mention “the gardener” – in my mind he has a persona that is fun to imagine. And the patterns from your light-catcher reminded me of sun patterns we get here in our house from a small colored-glass inset in the front door (from the ’20s when the house was built). Optics are so strange at times, hard to tell where the light path goes! And great to hear about your progress on the memoir. I just picked up Mary Karr’s “The Art of Memoir” from the library (as you’ve gotten me thinking about writing up my family’s stories), and wow. what a read. Sending you good thoughts about finishing yours! 🙂

    • Thank you, Theresa! You are so lucky to have that beautiful inset in your front door! How wonderful. I have started The Art of Memoir 2 or 3 times now. I don’t know what is holding me back. I’ve read and loved all her memoirs! Thanks re the good thoughts. Back atcha, too. Oh, and putting your blog on my blogroll. I have been remiss! Mom’s been here for a couple weeks, so I am behind!

    • These cataracts, I swear. You WERE on the blogroll. Now on twice, so I will remove one. heh

  28. You’ve hung it in a perfect spot. It’s really pretty, as are all of Pauline’s treasured light catchers! I was gifted one from Pauline on her visit to America! I’m really amazed at the charms she finds to include. All seem perfectly suited to each recipient. I shall be wrapping my arms around her in a couple of weeks now! I’m dazzled by the fact that I made it to see our dear P, almost as much as her beautiful gifts from the heart! Cheers K

  29. I loved this blog entry. So much positive going on in your life with family, writing, and the suncatcher. Also, I am reminded to place a certain paperweight where it will catch light and disperse rainbows!

  30. Pingback: A Spiritual Teacher has Left Us | Luanne Castle's Writer Site

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