Kicking the Bucket List


I had never even heard of the term “Bucket List” until the movie came out. Maybe its a good list to have if someone just gave you the news that you time is limited. We all have expiration dates we just don’t know when or how. The way I view my life I have done amazing things, gone amazing places, met and heard amazing people and experienced much more than most can imagine. I have no need for a bucket list.


I have traveled and toured 45 states, toured and/or worked in 9 countries outside the US. To get to these places I took cars, trains, airplanes, bus and boats (mostly ferries). Among my favorite places: Ireland, Mexico, San Francisco, CA, St. Augustine, FL, Portland, OR, Taos, NM and Natchez, MS. I haven’t taken count of the Museums I have been to but no matter where I visit if there is a museum I go.

Name Dropping

I’ve seen near 100 live performances by some of the most famous bands and bands that would become famous like Elton John when he was the warm band. I have been present during readings by extraordinary writers, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Toni Morrison, Alice Walk and Scott Momaday. I took in two Broadway plays in NYC, “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and “Sunday in the Park with George”. Being an illustrator I have the opportunity to meet and or talk to renowned artists, Tom Wilson (Ziggy) was my boss, Garfield creator Jim Davis, visited Laurel Burch,  Debbie Mumm and Mary Englebreit in their Studios. Lest I should forget was the chance talk given by Jacques Cousteau. FYI: Coincidently we share a birth date.


I’ve ran down the center of Medicine Park dressed as Little Britches the outlaw. Performed Western reenactments for the likes of NATO visitors. Given demonstrations and talk before audiences of all ages and size of groups. Concepted and graphically illustrated characters for cards and licensing including Strawberry Shortcake and Friends, Care Bears and Get-Along-Gang. Slid down a 60ft concrete slide in the historic Castro district of San Francisco.

As you can surmise by my life experiences are more like a book of lists. I am 70, more Travel, Performances, People, Action will be added not because it is a goal because the opportunity presents itself.


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Artists Never Retire: My Recent Art


Muriel Fahrion lifts her glass to Creativity

Muriel Fahrion lifts her glass to Creativity

Just in case you were wondering what the woman who was a concept artist on Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake and friends back in the 70s and 80s is doing today I have added a place you can view my are and if you are so inclined you can purchase a print. I do not do mass printings. I print them at home on high quality paper. Hand sign and date them. I know longer work for corporations but for myself. Click Here to view online portfolio.


No Cable, No Dish, No Direct TV, No Kidding

When cable became the hot thing back in the late 70s and 80s we were the hold outs. We got calls all the time (too often during dinner) giving us better and better deals if would only subscribe. Our kids were in their growing years. They never really begged us for cable. Or if they did I chose not to hear them. One summer as we sat quietly in the backyard two men walked back our driveway. I assumed because of the suits that they must have been Jehovah Witnesses. It was a bit of shock to find out they were cable salesmen. I guess we were the last hold out in our suburb. We could have afforded it we just didn’t see the need.

1991 we moved (because of job) to Chicago. Our son stayed in Cleveland where he was going to College our daughter 16 came with us kicking and screaming. I promised her cable.

1995 we moved to Oklahoma for a job again. Our daughter was not amused. We kept cable and she got the first cell phone in the family as she went off to college. My interest in cable was minimal. HGTV, A&E, and CNN were the most watched for me. History and Discovery for my husband.

2002  my job disenigrated. We moved to the small town of Medicine Park. Cable was not an option as we lived on a small mountain, although Direct TV and Dish were and are doable our budget was tight we didn’t give a thought to pay for TV. After awhile finances got better and my daughter (now living in Tulsa) thought she’d give us Direct TV for Christmas. My husband and I looked at each other and said “NO thank you” in unison. We didn’t miss it, we didn’t need it and we would rather spend our money on something else.

We have nothing against TV. Currently we watch network TV and PBS starting with the 5 o’clock news and a couple of shows, cop dramas or PBS series a night. Occasionally we take in a movie through HULU. Our TV is hardly ever on after 10:15. If the only offering is reality shows, predictable comedies or reruns we just turn it off.  As for daytime TV we might turn it on for breaking news or sever weather  but that’s the exception.

Let this be a declaration, if you are Cable, Direct or Dish TV salesman don’t waste your time or money sending us any more ads we are not your customer base. I don’t imagine any salesman coming up our steep driveway anyway.

Kyffin watches AFV

Kyffin watches AFV

The Vintage Advantage: Clothing Frugally

Vintage Fashion

I’ve loved clothes design since I was a little tyke. I can bring to mind the wardrobe pieces that set me apart; the lavender quilted flare skirt with matching vest, a hand me down from a neighbor, the “Cinderella” blended rainbow dress my mother got on sale, my red Hudson Bay jacket my Dad bought for me on one of his bus runs to Canada. When I started earning money in the Summers to pay for my college education I would save back enough money to buy at least one “cool” outfit. I remember the “poor boy” gray sweater and the black and white check skirt I bought to go with it. It was in high School my sewing skills reached the point that I could fashion my self some outfits. I kept up with trends that were slightly ahead of the mainstream. I made myself a tunic with matching pants when pants were still not allowed in upscale restaurants.One so called upscale restaurant turned me away. I queried, if I take the pants off would I then be allowed in with my tunic mini dress length? I did just that.

Once in art school I became friends with Larry, he was my ride to school (although I had to walk several long blocks to wait for him to pass my area). No matter, as this then gave me a few extra dollars  saved from taking the bus to buy detestable indigestible food from the vending machines at school or enough to spend as Larry and I perused the nearby thrift stores during our lunch hour. It is in one of these stores I made my first thrift store purchase, a black velvet with with white top stitching and pearl snaps western style jacket.  I loved that jacket. I wore it with my soft pink wool pencil skirt, another thrift store find.

While I was a working mother (I no longer had the time to sew my wardrobe) I resorted to upscale resale shops (before ebay). Even with enough money, when I became management, I could not see dropping a lot of money on suits.

Putting it All Together

ebay and Goodwill finds

Today we are on a fixed income and I buy most of my clothes either on online auctions/ vintage sites (Poshmark, Etsy) or Goodwill. Not a downer by any means as this gives a myriad of decades to chose my clothes from versus having to settle on mass market clothes of the current year that all kind of look a like. This year as I will be turning over 70 I decided I no longer want tie shoes for couple of reasons. 1. Pull ons are just that, much quicker 2. I no longer have to hold on the dogs leash while having to retie my shoes 3. My feet don’t like feeling captive in tie shoes. Never a brand name fanatic I realize that often brand names are well made. Recent purchases include Jordache overalls – well made and tough, Born sandals super comfortable, sturdy and easy on and off, Ariat Probaby boots – short with wide tops, great padding and cute to boot!  And I will refer you back to my post on jewelry de jour, lucite. Easy on and off, doesn’t need polishing and cost my under $10.

My daughter Kim came up with this formula on spending money…For every dollar you spend on clothes you should have to wear it that many times. So the Born shoes I picked up at Goodwill cost me $4.99. I found them last week. I have already gotten my money out of them!

I am glad I live in small town Oklahoma where buying frugally is something to brag about.