a Tiny description

a full time artist, stepmother, radio personality, and mom to an energetic Chug dog, tries to get through the days without committing a felonious act. My life is a rickety Zen circus.

____________________________________________________________________

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

saran wrap & quicksand & Kim

yes - a 2-fer post.

my days and evenings feel like quicksand, and i see myself visually clinging clinging to a shred of…who knows what, and wishing for a cold, heartless heart.  clinging to quotes and pithy sayings and maybe even horoscopes, wrapping them up in emotional saranwrap to preserve, if they suit my purpose.
another person i wish you could meet is Kim…my Rock Fairy.  we met in the woods of NH in 2006 (?) when i found a rock she had hidden that said Expand.  it touched something inside and the tears flowed.  i got to meet her moments later, and we shared a Belgian waffle and a friendship of epic proportions began.  I had the opportunity to stay with her 2 summers ago, neither one of us realizing that she was about to relocate south…just savoring the moments without the clock ticking.  Kim has a way of listening and then talking…i'm not sure how she does it…she makes this little humming sound while you're talking that for all the world feels like you're being patted on the back, much like a mother burps her baby.  it is so soothing, that sound.  and then she asks just the right questions to make you answer your own trouble, or at least show she gets it.  it's some sort of magic that she produces.  there doesn't need to be a Point A To Point B…sometimes just a race around some tail-chasing circle.  and that's okay too.  Kim is beautiful.  Her eyes sparkle…she has a style that reflects her inner beauty and creativity.  and she is brave.  so so brave.  i wish there was a way for us to live closer, but i am grateful for the phone times we have.

there are so many cool things happening…and so many truly awful & ugly things happening.  i try not to drag friends down the rabbit hole with me.  i try to be more than my circumstance.  i try to plaster a smile on my face, hug Henry close, and shut my eyes.  and some days it works.  not today.  but some days.  so today i busy myself with laundry and vacuuming and trying to de-flea.  yes…fleas.  i've washed every square inch of bedding and vacuumed every fiber of fiber in (most of) this house.  the comforter has just come back from the dry cleaners, and i'm ready to re-do everything.  wishing i had some help with Henry this morning so I can finish some christmas shopping.  but maybe tonight after work.  a trip to the dr's yesterday yielded a prescription for xanax, and the news that i've lost 10 pounds.   so that quit-smoking weight is finally coming off.  soon i'll be able to slip my wedding rings off.  that should be a relief to my husband, who will likely try to sell them.  but now i'm dipping my toes in the dark waters…so back up.  dearest perfect stepdaughter was the recipient of ugly when she went to dinner and was awarded the bad news, unsuspecting.  i received a sobbing phone call.  ok really now - back out.
some pictures!

I found this in a box of stuff i was going through.  hope it's true:

This rack is empty, with most of it re-homed or free-pile'd:

some new work, a la Juliette Crane: (have How To Paint An Owl on loop in the studio.  That's her husband's band.  so soothing):




my birthday cake, except in pink, and just 1 layer:


Ellen & I did some cooking at the NY Wine & Culinary Center:


Random Henry picture, because who can resist??


yes…this shirt will soon have a new home:


my tree this year…sort of lost interest after the new lights and 1st go around with bulbs, but she's a beauty:

 Really really look at this, and tell me there's "impossible."



Monday, December 15, 2014

I'm aware that there are thousands of people who get the TUT emails daily.  And most, if not all, of them get the same one.  But...
I have to say the last few weeks have held some Right On Target messages.  Like today's, below.

In yesterday's post, I was talking about the women around me who have supported me in my recent Lifechange Opportunity. I neglected to mention Caroleena.  I thought I had, but after getting a late night text from her, I realized that I hadn't.  And Caroleena has a way...she owned a gallery locally.  Took over for one that was closing.  Stepped in to fill the great void of venues to display art, sell art, gather as artists.  As much as she hoped to make money at it, her core reason was to provide this space for the artists.  And provide advice, build up confidence, and dispense aspirin and wine. There is so much to say, that there are no words.  We have each been there for one another during the really, truly ugly times...the fetal position in the corner times.  And have been there for each other's successes.  And the love offered for each swing of the pendulum has been equal.
Now...
Here's the TUT...

Opportunity never stops knocking. New friends are on their way. The ideas you need will find you. You'll have another chance. Things are getting brighter. You are feeling lighter. Love is rising. Be still. Prepare. Others will call you lucky. Your parents are so proud. You ain't seen nothing yet. Look out world, Linda G is stirring. A giant is waking up. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
‘Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.’ Alan Cohen

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” -Joseph Campbell

What a beautiful evening with my dear friend…she is brave and strong and has dealt with much more in her life than a person should have too, plus she built her own log house.  And then gave it to her husband, just to be free of him.  and she did it all without a whimper or whine…with such grace and self-assurance.  to lose your home, have to start over with 2 young kids, leave your beloved dogs behind, and face one of the scariest health diagnosis a woman can face…all. at. once.  It never fully registered with me that she was swimming through the poop, and for that i have deep regret.  it's just that she chose the high road…she chose to just put one foot in front of the other and trust that the ground would be there.  I can only hope to have half of her strength and grace.  i suspect i will fall short, but tonight, just being with her, let some sparks loose again.  and when she was leaving, and said " it will be good to see Linda appear again,"  well, i was just about destroyed.  she is amazing.  i am grateful for her, along with the Pat Patty Patricia Trish's.  All these amazing women have been put in a circle around me…Ellen, Kim, Joey, Tracy, Chris, Denise (betcha didn't guess!), Kelleygirl, Mary Poof Ellen,  Georgette ...and that's just this weekend…more are in the circle.  i think it's so so important to circle the ones we love - and not just in an imaginary, mystical circle…but if possible in person…be it a coffee hour, or crochet, or just a time set aside to go for a walk together - imagine a group of strong women walking down the road together!  an army!  women don't always reach out.  we are supposed to be the caretakers and the organizers and the life-fixers.  but when we need care taken with our own selves, it seems selfish or weak to ask, sometimes.  or we make a joke of it.  or we feel like we've bitched enough about whatever the topic is.  But it takes many false starts, sometimes, before the leap…trying out the idea out loud.  women are wired to gather…to gain strength from the group…to find like-minded souls and hearts.  i've never ever understood jealousy of one another.  i've never understood drama between women.  we need one another to survive…to make it through…to learn and grow strong and happy…to look into the mirror and see each other.  i cannot find words to express to you how deeply deeply grateful i am to have these women surrounding me with a shield against myself…to lead, and not let me get too far off course, while allowing me to choose my steps and the pace.  i will find a word, somehow, in some language to express this.  or i will make one up.  and to say "thank you" is so very understated, but please accept it for now.  and as you hold me, i hold others, as well.  so, do you see how we're all one family?

from my sister-in-law:  Hey I hear the divorce is real now! Congratulations! How wonderful to go into 2015 knowing that this thing you have wanted for so long is finally coming to pass! I wish you all the best on your new adventure!
Now, how can a person not whip their head around and say Booyah on that one?  I smile when I think of this note.  She is amazing.

Tomorrow, you just have to meet my Rockinest friend!  

Pat Patty Patricia Trish

There's magic in that name, I guess.  I've spent part of this morning pinging between texts from one Patricia to emails from another.  And each one, in their own way, has taken this battered heart that Thinks It Can, It Thinks It Can and lifted it up to full steam.  Having spent the last So Much Time spinning on every cylinder and moving at the speed of light toward my destiny with joyous wonderment...to get tripped up by my husband's divorce news has been a double blow. If I wasn't feeling so much Goodness before, there would be less to lose. Heart wise.  This whole event is such a mind spinner...one one hand, I am brought to the ground with the timing of his announcement.  Am I the first & only woman who's experienced this cruelty? Not a chance, unfortunately.  I stand, and stand firm, and even smile at the opening made for me to continue on a journey that will look wholeheartedly mine. Wholehearted was my "word" for 2014, I just remembered.  Hmmm. Yet in the same instant, I am terrified.  Cold sweat freaking out.  So I am trying to keep it together and trying to figure this out.  I am even more grateful for the friends that hold my heart when I can't, because it's difficult to find the words for what my soul needs. It has everything it needs...I just moved it to a foreign country with a language I don't speak.  And sadly, I see some friends pulling away.  It is not my intention to be an emotional or time suck.  I know there will be moments when I just need to hear a friendly voice talking about mundane things.  Just to have a normal touchstone space in my day/week/whatever.
But this morning, pinged between my queen, and the queen bee, text and email, I realized that the journey is mine alone, but the path has been made smooth by those who have gone before me.  I need only follow their grace and courage, and I'll be just fine in the end.  If I'm not fine, it isn't yet the end! Thank you, Pat Patty Patricia Trish, for allowing your joy and grace and struggles and Keeping On spirits to ooze out into the world to blaze the trail...thank you for not hiding the difficult bits, but most importantly - for showing me the power & the getting through.  I am grateful, so grateful, for you both.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

wonder woman

there have been an amazing number of Tiny Steps in the past few weeks…a few stumbles, but mostly each and every moment has been one of empowerment and learning and going for the Tiny.  it has definitely not been all shiny and tiaras the past 11 days.  but looking back, so far, i can see the lessons.  and that helps.  the constant question is: What holds me?  and in that question, the key to everything…what holds me back from moving forward?  and you don't have to be "stuck" in some great dilemma in order to ask the question…or need it asked.  if you're doing an end of year home/studio/closet clean out - what holds you?  what is it that owns you, rather than you owning it?  for me it was the huge & ginormous accumulation of art supplies…a giant continent of rusty metal and old wooden whatnots and baby doll heads and game pieces, etc.  That, for the most part, is gone.  the ceramic bits scheduled to be re-homed tomorrow.  (the snow cancelled today's disgorging).  i feel so much lighter - SO much lighter.  and for the first time in almost a year, i'm back at my work table in my home studio.
this winter will be one of making determined steps toward how i want my life to look in the spring…garden…bees…Tiny.  my friend Lynn has assured me that, despite my moments of panicked visualization, i will not end up living in a cardboard box under a bridge.  That has been my irrational yet real fear for years, and has held me firm to the spot i am living in.  another friend works at an abused woman's shelter, and she said it was not an uncommon fear.  so i feel better about that.  and am ready to kick it to the curb.  that has been my tactic - at night, just before sleep comes, the What If's sometimes hit.  rather than turn them this way and that, gazing at their endless and horrid possibilities, I picture myself putting them in a box & sealing it up & putting it to the roadside, saying "I'm done with that in my life."  it's worked.  sometimes the boxed up terror will hitchhike home, and i repack it and send it down a cliffside, never to return.  today is Grandma's Coming day for Henry, so i'm off to shower off the snow shoveling sweat.
wishing you a Tiny day….

Monday, December 08, 2014

ok and enough

If you managed to get through my last post without slitting your own wrists, i applaud you.  i am leaving it there for my own future reference on just how pathetic a pity party can be.  well, to be fair - more of a panic party.  and i really wanted to have that tree lit and festive.  but it isn't and it won't so Move On.

i do have choices in life, and when i finally got out of my own way this morning, i realized it was time to make some choices…as Henry's tiny little paw reached out and touched my cheek…as kitty curled around my left foot…as i snuggled so tightly under the hand-made quilt…i released i had choices…they were all mostly ugly, but some less ugly and that's a blessing…so with renewed vigor, i continued the process of dismantling my studio upstairs - loosening up and re-homing Every Single Thing that doesn't justify it's space…am i passionate about it any longer - no? then it must go.  on so many levels.  i spent the weekend (between crying jags) helping a dear friend begin the process of reorganizing her studio, and consolidating her home studio into her Big Girl Studio that she shares with her brother.  Her house has no room to be a home…it's all floor to ceiling studio stuff…i mean this literally…i felt claustrophobic and overwhelmed, so i can't imagine how she & her brand new husband feel on a daily basis - just 1 room not filled.  and i saw myself.  with all the issues/choices floor to ceiling swirling around me.  and grabbed a mental box and started stuffing it to kick it to the curb.  if you asked, i'd say that Right Now i feel good - sad but determined.  and i'll take that.  balance.  today's email had this in it, reminding me to see beyond what looks like poop:

Some things don't sound like they look. 

Others don't look like they sound.

There are friends who don't act like friends.

And enemies who'd never dream of hurting anyone.

But, Linda, do you know what the strangest thing about time and space is?

Your thoughts will never betray you. They will strive to become things. You can change your circumstances on a dime. And where you've been, has no bearing on where you can still go. 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Tonight, I blew up the Christmas tree

I am an adult, middle aged woman.  I am an artist.  I have a dream job in radio.  I have an adorable little dog who eats most things he shouldn't but is forgiven immediately.  I have some incredible friends. I have a ton of dishes to serve up tasty food, which I love to prepare for you.  I have fought my way back from being paralyzed.  I have walked away from many things that tried to own my soul.  I have been a figure skater, a process server, a police dispatcher, a karate dojo administrator, a musician.  I have run a successful import business.  I am an organizer and a loyal friend.  A life coach (seems odd) to help others light their way. I am an event planner, and in the midst of putting together an international fine art photography show.  Until last Monday, my feet rarely touched the ground...I was that high on my life and blessings and the direction it was all taking me.
Despite this....
I feel numb.
No, numb is wrong.  I think I hurt in ways so deep that it doesn't have sensation that can be named.  A knife so sharp, you don't know you've been cut.  A cruelty so hurtful it defies even asking why the particular timing.
It is Christmas and I am dreading dreading the day.  Even more so, dreading New Year's Eve.  I don't know my way down this dark path...don't know how to act or move about.  Tonight I accidentally went to hug my husband, out of reflex, while walking past him in a narrow hallway by the washer & dryer.  He recoiled.  I don't know my way through this.  I notice some friends taking a step back.  I try to be more than this circumstance.  I'm not sure how.  I'm afraid I'll have a panic attack while I'm on the air.  I hate that every sentence starts with "I" because I feel like I've tucked into myself already, like an armadillo tucks in to keep only his hard shell available to an assailant. I need a Xanax and a map.  And my fucking wings.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

i'm taking an online class with Juliette Crane, and at the top of today's lesson, there are a few quotes that resonate:

Any way you want it to be, that’s just right. -Bob Ross
We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down. -Kurt Vonnegut


Yesterday, i went to see my counselor, who said, among other things "he doesn't deserve you."  i appreciate the sentiment.  i agree.  but what a strange-o moment.  I'm getting to the place where i am pretty much done with the "helping" profession.  having gone to a counselor on and off for many years as i attempt to trounce PTSD,  and also with husband for marriage counseling, i realize that they are basically being paid to listen.  period.  or to watch you argue with your spouse.  every so often, a word of encouragement is offered, but really, since i've been paying attention, there hasn't been much else offered.  i'm not sure what i expected, but it was ….more.  there was one woman i saw who had huge brass balls.  and she spoke her mind and told you how she felt and was gentle with your emotions in a no-nonsense way.  she said her goal was to not have you sitting in front of her every week forever.  she wanted you up and out of "care" and skipping on your own two feet.  i adored her, and her little office by the river.  sadly, she passed away.  a few weeks before she died, she asked me if i had left him yet.  i said no, and she said that was a shame.
but moving ahead….




Wednesday, December 03, 2014

my apologies - i keep trying to get to this page, but don't quite know what to write.  can i bore you with some background for a moment, and perhaps you'll find your head nodding with kinship on some points?  if not, i promise - it will be good in the end…if it isn't good, it is not yet the end (my favorite quote from Marigold Hotel).

15 years ago, I was younger, stronger, on top of the world…working as a news anchor for the hottest ticket here.  I had boyfriends and girlfriends and a motorcycle and a brand spankin new tattoo, if you must know.  Living the dream.  a choice led me to ditch that and go work at "a meaningful job" at 911. 5 years later, i left…broken and bruised…newly married…hiding my shattered self inside a whirlwind of step-parenting and new house shopping and nest building.  within a month i discovered just how much he loved alcohol.  a binge drinker who has yet to admit the extent of his problem, preferring instead to mock me as prudish and "a buzz kill."  I became even more beat down.  i liken it to making paper pulp, where you agitate and beat the ingredients until they become homogenous and pliable, with no structure left.  then you pour this glop into your own mold, and soon…voila!  except i became the ingredients.  except strands of the original material remained, untouched.  and the strands bonded together and held firm.  I was on my own emotionally.  i was on my own, also, to physically take on the challenges of the day - fibromyalgia and RA teamed up with sleepless night of PTSD nightmares.  None of which my husband believed I have, so help was not there for me.  I am lucky that my Kita would wake me up when a nightmare rocked my body - all those calls from 911 piling up into 1 great ball of crap. most of my friends from that time are gone - either walked away because they couldn't understand why i stayed, or else i walked away from them - seeing my former self in their eyes was too difficult.  and every time i would screw my courage up and say i was done, something would blow me back down.  i allowed this wind to toss me for 13 more years.  (i know, right??) till last summer i had had enough.  and thus began the Tiny Step Initiative.  a plan within a plan to become my best self, once again.  it began with cooking - a skill i could never excel in.  but i did it.  and did it very very well.  the Tiny Step has kept me on track, breaking down this seemingly insurmountable life change into a daily, small step.  some days the step forward is just: don't take a step backward.  And since I began the journey in May (ish), I cannot tell you the explosion of fabulous that has come into my life…the ways in which i have been allowed to touch others' lives, too.  i have grown strong in my spirit, once again, and have begun to think that i can actually do this thing - this Tiny House thing. I imagine what i want my life to look like, with homesteading and canning and the like.  not survivalist…not bunker in the hillside.  but living simply with tiny choices.
and i began to hear that wind blow…as i became stronger and more resolute within myself, the challenges began to deepen from within my own house.  2 days ago, which is exactly 24 days before Christmas (my 2nd favorite holiday) and 27 days before my birthday (my favorite holiday), my husband received advice from what has to be the 2nd cruelest person on this earth…i say 2nd cruelest, because it took the 1st cruelest to follow the advice.  while we were eating dinner, and i talked of getting the tree decorated and what to make for Christmas dinner,  he blurt out robot-like that he is "planning to proceed with a divorce action."  24 days before christmas and 27 days before my birthday, this is the best conversational tidbit he can offer.  I have 2 friends that are divorce attorneys, and both of them have said they refuse to begin an "action" at any time between november 15th and christmas day. they say that anyone who wants that is just being cruel to the other party, and they will not allow it.  They have to sleep at night, too.  all bets are off in the case of abuse, of course.
so after 13 years, 4 months, and 1 day during dinner 24 days before christmas and 27 days before my birthday, i should not be surprised.
however, i am crushed.
so my tiny step today, and has been for the past 2 days, and will continue to be:
Keep it together.
I can't say if i'll be posting more, or posting less…right now, i feel run over and numb, with tears coming at awkward times.
so now the choice minute-by-minute becomes …be a victim or be a Tiny Stepper?  I choose to let myself Just Be.  I will not allow myself to become my own worst master.  i hear words from well-meaning friends who say that, in time, i will be fine.  and i accept those words and hold them close.  they have walked the walk, and i am glad for their words.  but i will allow myself times to completely. break. down.  I am not the first to walk this path…by far.  and i won't be the last.  but maybe we can all hold each other's hands as we walk, no matter where you are on the journey, and we can all be buoyed by the strength of our sisters and by looking back to where they stand and seeing how far you may have come.
i received this in my emails today, reminding me that i am no longer broken.  shaken, stirred and crumpled for now.  but not broken:


'Twas the month of Christmas and on every single day,
I thought of the things that might brighten your way.
And then it just hit me, like a sleigh hits a roof,
that with your own thoughts, you could be your own proof.

So choose them with care, Linda, and lots of emotion,
because it's what you are feeling that sets them in motion.
And when the clock strikes 12, on a particular eve,
you might not believe all that's under your tree.

Metaphorically, dear.

Tallyho, ho, ho!
    The Universe




Thursday, November 27, 2014

it's about the stuff.  and my relationship to it.  what matters?  why does it matter?  does it matter enough to sink my dream?  if i can't wedge all the stuff in a Tiny, then I can't have a Tiny.  and i want a Tiny.  the more i look at other spaces, the more i realize that a Tiny just feels right…a small hug of a house…not too much to take care of, yet not an apartment that i can get kicked out of if a little barker disturbs the peace, or if the building gets sold or if the rent gets jacked up.  and i realized that i truly need my own space.  so today as i napped off the turkey, some design issues that were vexing me simply unwound their knots.  mainly:  i love to gather women.  movie night, wine around a bonfire, soup and salad and good crusty bread.  Love it.  i would live in a commune of women, given the choice.  but how to fit a handful of women around a tiny table?  well, what if the table was on a pulley system and was stored at the ceiling?  i could have a regular tiny table (my free one, if you remember) for everyday, and use the leaves in that for small company, but the larger one for more company.  we gather around the table, and generally stay there as we chat the night away, anyway.  i am grateful for the whole Tiny Step Initiative.  I am scared, yes, but giggly too.  Now….on to the financing question...
i had a long list of gratitudes i was going to post today.  there are so many things to be grateful for - big and Tiny.  and i know you are mostly busy with food and wine and napping, so i'll limit myself to just this one…this one that i will hold in my hand like a sacred bubble, not to be burst…to watch the shimmering rainbow move across it's face…today, my #1 gratitude is this:
I was gifted with land to build my Tiny.  And the land comes with a power hookup, and a fenced acre for Henry.  there's more, but that's all i can manage for now…it's about to get real real up in here now, and i want to hold it all close for just a bit before i scatter the goodness, the scaredness, the crazy and the wonderful.  and the scaredness.
blessings to you all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

(sorry - it's taken me days to log in due to blogger playing nasty reindeer games)

I recently subscribed to Taproot magazine.  It is difficult to read, and I certainly would never read it at work.  why?  Something within me reaches out to this homesteading lifestyle…it yearns…a word I never thought i'd use in a sentence unless i'm being fancy.  but Yearns is the only way i can describe it…strains, longs for, pulls towards, stretches…i can't soak up enough.  it feels like when your Very First boyfriend (the one you'd die without - yeah, the 15 years old one) went away for the summer with his family.  you moped.  and cried.  and swore you'd find a way to get to where he was vacationing.  he saved his change to make long-distance phone calls from the pay phone down the road.  yes, there was a time when cell phones didn't exist.  but that is how my very spirit is struggling.  i see the end lifestyle. i want the whole vegetable garden/honey bees/ composting toilet thing.  i do.  how i got here from semi-priveldged, semi-wealthy, nice little Jewish girl is a mystery.  maybe i was born to live in a kibbutz.  who knows.  but i do know that many of the things i thought i couldn't live without…now hold no meaning to me.  the trinkets and doo dads and found objects that literally fill a studio will soon be gone.  on to another home.  i feel like my life is completely changing.  i feel as though i am becoming my best self.  and i won't stoop to the whole caterpillar/butterfly thing - that's too easy, and you know i am disinclined by nature to take the easy route.  i want a small home - a Tiny home.  but big enough to have dinner parties.  i want a home that feels like a hug.  that's what i want.  a home.  a hug.  and nothing is impossible.

i wish you days of full on gratitude, with sunshine warming the top of your head…i wish you moments when the slightest smile can completely erase your grief and sadness…i wish you the desires of your heart, and HeartFriends to share them with….and cake - i wish you cake.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

i'm still standing…skipping to my own tune…getting messy with paint today, and a week of extra hours at my radio job…meet you back here tomorrow for a catch up?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

while you were sleeping...

While you slept, and while Henry snored - curled up in the curve my legs make when i lie on my side and tuck my knees up- and while Purrl, newly emboldened, snored and purred in his/her sleep just this far away from Henry...and the pipes pinged and banged against the wind that howled outside...and the darkness created a blank slate for dreams to be drawn on...while all this commotion went on, my husband's words snuck down the hall in hushed woolen slippers.
"I don't think there's a future for us."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It is my instinct to hibernate when the days grow shorter and darker and colder...when the snow begins to threaten, I want nothing more than to grab my pillow and nap for a month or two - awakening only when my own breath threatens to annihilate me.  Yes, I was born to be a bear, but something went wrong :)  This year, though, will be different.  Sort of.  This year, instead of letting winter make me it's bitch, I plan to retaliate.  This winter I will use snow for it's polar opposite - fun.  I plan to snowshoe and perhaps xc ski.  But instead of the ushhh ( you-szh...like short for usual) (or actually long for it, since it took longer to explain than if I just used the proper word), instead of...that...where I decide on an activity and go 240 & 10 at it, then break something or end up hating the activity no matter what it is...this year I will move at my own pace, even if it takes me 3 weeks to make it down the driveway on xc skiis.  Even if I only make it to the edge of the woods.  Even if I decide to walk instead.  It's getting busy all up in here...the Tiny Step Initiative continues, and I have been true to it...just haven't been sharing all the Tiny's, as I've been away and then settling back in.  Now I'm doing the Badge of Courage project, which is the teensiest tip of the iceberg that I can share about that right now...but it will be good.  So good. My purges continue in the home studio and soon my Away From Home studio will be disassembled.  Yes.  I haven't set foot in there in 2 months, so why the heck spend the money? I could be using that for other purposes with a better return.  And you know, it's my favorite time of year...when I go into KMart and anonymously pay on or pay off people's layaways! I get so jazzed doing that.  Never fails that I leave the store all choked up.
Anyway, I'm off track.  We were talking about winter, and hibernation and snow shoes.  My Henry is a dog that is disinclined to go out when the temperatures dip below 50, he of partial Mexican descent.   And because of this, I will not feel guilty about going outside without him.  Although his pace is much faster than mine, I don't need to chase every squirrel I see, and thus lose my pacing.  Basically, what I'm trying to say is that one of the Big Tiny's was to get OUT...step out of my studio and my comfort zone and just go out.  And I did with a vengeance, joining women's groups and dog groups and starting my own group and gathering women for any & all reasons.  And it is good.  But I am apt to become too busy, as is my way.  And not leave time for thought.  And rest.  And art.  So I'm making 1 day for that.  For me & Henry alone.  And Purrl.  And when I opened myself back up to life and those living in the world around me, it all embraced me back, becoming a möbius circle of love, life, fun, going deep in gratitude, and grabbing every single sparkly thing.  And cake.  Always cake.  I have met (yes, I'm aware there is no particular path to this post) some of the most enchanting women in the past few months.  Absolutely enchanting.  And I've come to know new depths of enchantment in friends I've known for years.  All because I got out.  Not just out of the studio and out of the house, but out of my own way...I opened my eyes and my heart even wider.  I thought I had sight before, but the past summer gave me so much more courage to step out of the box I'd allowed myself to be put in.  So that's where it's at right now.  Why it will be very difficult for me to hibernate.  Now before I continue to bore you, Henry is informing me that he needs to play Now, so I leave this where it is.
Wishing you dreams and wishes come true, and the courage to hold them in your hands tightly...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

the Go To

every so often, i get really ticked off at Facebook, and how it seems to have stolen the depth from our relationships…hitting the "like" button instead of having a conversation with a person and telling them you're happy about whatever they're posting about, or "friending" someone…there's one that gets me scratching my head every so often.  mostly, i go with the flow and straddle the New way of being a friend, and kickin it old school - the way in which 2 people actually answer their phones when one calls the other (and one actually does call the other).
But once in a while, there is a person who's courageousness as a friend is so deeply unbelievable, that it shames the whole Like and Friend process…the depth of their commitment to another friend, despite the heartbreak it causes them, is so unnaturally sweet and wonderful and amazing.
I know such a person.  Actually, i have a few people in my life like that.  But the one I'm thinking of here…
  i'll fast forward to the past year.  a woman from our same high school, and very close friend of my friend…is dying.  she has a week - maybe - to finish saying good byes.  Throughout her illness (and it's been a very long journey) my friend has been the Go To…organizing fundraisers, driving her friend to appointments, holding her hand, no doubt drying tears.  She has been there.  always.  always.  always.  and though her own heart aches and screams as she watches her friend slip away, she stays.  i have no doubt she'll be there till the very last moment.  it would be easier to post a quick Love Ya and Like, then bury her head in a busy schedule in order to shield herself from the monumental hurt of letting a dear one go.  but she doesn't.  it is the hardest choice.  the hardest.  and i commend her for that choice, and i am a coward compared to what she has given.  i hope to never need to pull that strength from myself, but please know that - for you - i would find a way to be your Go To if you need one.  I will learn from my friend how to love as deeply as necessary, and then double it.  and i pray that there will be a reward of grace and peace for my friend for all she has given of herself these past months, years.  and for all the Go To's …may your hearts be soothed, and your sleep peaceful.  This I wish for you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

post #2 - a Tiny quote

from Mariah Coz…a somewhat radical Tiny thinker, who's ideas I somewhat agree with mostly sometimes.  definitely.  You don't have to want a Tiny home to downsize other things in your life.  and honestly, half the coolness of this sweet dream-coming-true is the process involved in the downsizing to Tiny.  Here's an example:

 A BIG part of downsizing is taking care of invisible, intangible demons. Bad relationships are a demon. You want to to downsize your life, you have to downsize the hard parts too. If that person isn’t in your dream life when you imagine it, what are you waiting for? I swear, getting rid of emotionally damaging things is just as important as getting rid of physical stuff when you’re getting ready to move into a small space. Toxic relationships take up a lot of SPACE, in your mind, your energy, and your life. You don’t have room for that, because your life is going to be so full of things you care about you just won’t have time for the losers. If you don’t have the same priorities, it may be time to do some serious thinking.

There is nothing on television. Well, that’s not true. There are advertisements that pander to you and speak to you like you have half a brain, insult your intelligence, and try to trick you into buying stuff you don’t want or need. But, there’s nothing that you’re MISSING on television. One great way to start downsizing crap out of your life right now is to cut your cable. There has never been an easier time to cut your cable, you can still use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon On Demand and similar services to actually watch the CONTENT that you love, minus the stupid ads you hate. If you’ve been putting this off for a while, you could be wasting 100’s of dollars a year (or more!). Take a moment and think about all of the things you would do if you weren’t tempted to watch bad reality TV shows. Read more books? Write poetry? Dance and do karaoke in your PJ’s? (Is that just me?).

STOP BUYING CRAP.
I mean it. Stop it right now. Stop wandering around Target. Stop using the excuse that you need it, or it’s on sale, or you’ll use it in the tiny house! No, you won’t. Because you won’t fit in the tiny house with that extra crap weighing you down. When you’re out in the world being bombarded with messages of consumption and acquisition, just remember that the money you are about to spend on something useless could be building materials for your tiny home. It could be put towards hiring an electrician. Or buying the trailer. If that’s not motivation enough, think about how your dollar is POWER – you have the power in your pocket to add to a planet in crisis, destroy a culture that is being degraded due to the insatiable American desire, and to damage people and places you can’t even point to on a map. OR, you could think rationally, save your money, and put that dollar back in your pocket where it belongs!
no - I haven't abandoned the Tiny Step Initiative…quite the opposite.  it's just been such a FuLL few weeks, that I haven't had time to list everything.  It's kinda clear that I won't have a Tiny by winter.  well, mostly clear…unless some great miracle happens.  which it could, so i'm not ruling it out.  my intention this morning was to write about my week(ish) at Lucky Star, but there really is nowhere to start, and no words to fill the lines on the paper.  so here's a short list of what it wasn't:  it wasn't overwhelming - in a good way.  it was gentle and sweet and fun, but it wasn't that manic, sugar-crazed, New year's eve Must Have THE Best Time vibe.  it wasn't light on the value-for-the-money…i didn't leave there wondering what the heck i just spend $2K and 5 days on, and feeling like the organizers were chuckling in a room filled with money somewhere.  i don't keep track dollar-for-dollar, but i've left some gatherings scratching my head, asking "really??"  It wasn't a fashion show, talent show, popularity contest, high school-ish thing.  it was women in their fullest, best selves, coming together to make art and friends and have fun…and all the goodness that surrounds that cloud of wonderful.  It wasn't a place to stick to a diet.  it wasn't a place to come to and expect to leave the same…new friendships and new skills and new boundaries crossed…all change a person just the tiniest bit.  Did i feel like my life was changed dramatically?  no.  but that just served to reassure myself that i am headed in the best direction.  did i cross boundaries - heck yeah…i rode a horse…i walked across the water (well, on a footbridge - not in the water-to-wine sense.)  (but kinda).  i smacked those fears down.  and on the plane ride home - the part before the bird took a shortcut through the engine) i designed an official Bade Of Courage, and am so pleased that others have contacted me for them.  so incredible to hear their stories of courage - whether it's fixing a drippy faucet alone, or going through chemo.  hurrah for y'all, eh?  (that's what happens when you go to Texas and take a photography class from a Canadian…"y'all, eh").
so today is crammed with Stuff To Do, so off i go…my studio #1 is back in action, and I have room for  7 around my worktable, so if you're feeling the need to make art…come on by.  Studio #2 will be shut down soon…it just isn't serving me as well.
Be shiny.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

i'm home.  or rather - i'm back at the address that my bills get mailed to…i feel like i just left Home.  In case you didn't know, I just spent 5 days in the Texas hill country, at Lucky Star Art Camp.  If you weren't there - you should've been.  If you weren't there, you must go next year.  If you don't go next year, don't blame me.  this is your final boarding call. I've been to any number of art retreats and workshops in my time, and each one has it's own flair and flavor - some cotton candy, some BBQ and chilis, some apple pie.  Some are just plain as water, with a Just Learn The Stuff strictness.  I have to say, this past week in Texas won my heart.  None of the drama that often ensues when 100 or so folks are snatched out of their comfort zones, travel way too many hours in every sort of unreliable mode of transportation, and arrive sweating and stinky and needing a shower and a chardonnay.  NOW please and thank you.  add into the mix that you'll be bunking with women You Don't Know, that may/may not have strange bathroom habits or snore or use all the hot water or sleepwalk or talk/fart profusely in their sleep.  now, add to THAT the fact that all those shiny new art supplies have to be used In Front Of People.  there's your recipe for bad behavior, if it was ever to occur.  and the tipping point will come, and which way the pendulum swings is determined by the organizer, and how he/she acts/reacts.  Lisa must have been exhausted…she has no less than 22 kids (i lied right there) and 3 full time jobs (there too, but who wouldn't want to get out of the house with that many kids), and on top of that, she has at least 2 chickens that i personally saw, and by the way, took a leap and a chance and made Lucky Star from a ball of golden yarn and hopes & dreams.  so if she grabbed a microphone at lunchtime and shrieked that we should all be ashamed and Go Stand In A Corner for time out, no one would blame her.

But she didn't.  she was sweet and honest and as overwhelmed to be there as we were, and was In Charge.  You just knew it was all under control, and you could relax and enjoy every single thing.  if it wasn't good, she would make it good, so - no worries, no pouting.  But it was all always good, and if under that cool, calm, happy exterior, IF she was paddling like a 1-legged duck, then she hid it well.  but i think she was just diggin' it.

more tomorrow, including The Ghost Dog, The Badge of Courage: Water feature, and the Badge of Courage: I Rode A Horse.  (a real one).
Now I have to go talk on the radio, which seems cruel, but there are many worse things, and many worse jobs, and i have worked at each one.  so i am grateful for my job, and grateful for my time in Texas.  and grateful for my totally rocking real live cowboy boots with just a little bit of horse poo on them.  i will wear them to work, specifically because of the poo, knowing that the fan doesn't work in the studio, and now no one will bother me.

Did you do something courageous at camp?  Was even just going a major breakthrough for you?  tell me and I'll make you a Badge of Courage.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Be back soon...R&R-ing in the Texas Hill country.  It is good with my soul.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Today I'm grateful for the crispy, downy sound my comforter makes next to my ear when I tuck in for a few more minutes sleep.
And for the beautiful fragrance of cranberries from an air freshener.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Fall...fallow? Nah

A mostly sleepless night, with lists and obligations and plans all swirling through my head.  I used to call them "night dogs," these scampering, vaporous half-thoughts.  But now I have an actual night dog - one who prefers the comfort of my bed...no, the couch...no, the bed. Back and forth with endless bounding energy.  Bounding, because he leaps up onto the bed in one bound and bounces a bit before looking for the perfect place to spin a few times, then lay down.  Even for a minute.  Then off to the couch again.
Normally I think of fall as a prelude to fallow time...time to prepare everything for winter sleep...plow it under and let it go untended for a season.  But this year will be different.  This year will be a busy time.  I am hoping for plenty of friend-time to dissolve the winter blues...hoping to keep the monsters at bay with snow shoeing and xc ski trips and general Using The Season for fun.
I now have a new tab in my life folder: before summer/after summer.  "After" began with the Tiny plan during the summer, but they're my tabs, so...
I try to stay focused on the silver linings, these days, and have found that to be such an incredible rush.  Let me say, though, that daily life has been Difficult with two people living together that really truly desperately wish the other would just go away.  The easiest thing, and the route I've always taken these past too-many-years, is to make nice...to just cross that peace bridge, shake hands, forgive and forget.  But guess what?  A part of you doesn't forget.  A part of you scars and heals over and re-scars.  And soon your body starts to chime in, trying to tell you Hey! Take better care of your soul.  This will continue till something changes.  Or your health collapses.  I was in bad shape physically.  And I said No More.  I blew up the bridge, put my hands in my pocket and turned away.  There was no point, that was obvious.  I felt abused.  Deeply kicked.  And so began the Tiny Step Initiative, which was a small way, every day, to make progress toward my Tiny home, but large life.  It is crazy amazing, and crazy scary.  But mostly the amazing part.  But old heart-patterns die hard, and the past week has been exceptionally difficult, and i had a crazy thought that if I just took a step toward the bridge, that maybe just maybe This Time...but the Plan for me is to move forward, apparently.  After watching an embarrassing drunken display last night, my heart sealed over and I turned 100% away.  On my street, we gather, us women.  I am usually the organizer, but still we gather for meals, movies and general enjoyment of each others' company.  And I realized at some point how many of us are hugely busy with raising our families...with no help.  Both spouses live in the house, but they operate as separate entities. And I have to say...alcohol stands between them in each and every case except one.  That one is a workaholic.
This just-passed summer, I was alone while my spouse stayed on his dream boat, refusing to come home and blaming me for my own loneliness ...shouting that I need counseling, when I asked for him to be present in the marriage.  And so the Tiny began, as I reached out to women who shared the joy of each others' company, and as I grew stronger in my heart, and as I dusted the corners of my spirit, and saw that it didn't take hardly any effort to be strong and grow straight and true.  It was all a lie - the feeling that I could never Be again.  I AM.  I Will.  Of Course.
I had forgotten how enraged I felt when my spouse drinks...forgotten how the white hot flame sears through me and takes this gentle heart and stomps it...forgotten how it makes me want to scream and throw curses and threats, which stay inside my head of course...which stay inside my body, till the poison attacks my bones and joints, and makes me so so tired.
I had forgotten the intensity of that which I felt daily, weekly.  And last night I wondered how and why I had put up with it for so long??
I am different, yet again.  And I will not accept the unacceptable in my life ever. Again.  So the Tiny will continue to be the goal I work towards, but there must be an intermediate step.  And the time has come for it.
I am glad for the horror of last night...grateful for the final push that the remembrance gave me, so that I can move forward with no regret and knowing there is nothing to look back at.
On Wednesday I leave for 5 days in Texas , and I think it will be good to gather with women again...good to wake up with no obligations, other than to eat breakfast made by other hands, soak in the lazy river, ride a horse, make some art, and fall even more in love again.  With my self.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Doing my best tonight...despite. Tomorrow may be a very big Tiny. Self-preservation reigns supreme.
Breathe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Light

I've been feeling a bit restless, because although my Tiny Step initiative continues, I don't feel any closer to my Tiny House. ..I don't have land, I don't have a building trailer, no floor plans (official builders plans)... Just wishes and books and preparations.  Then I came across a snippet of a poem from TS Elliot...
Light
Light
The visible reminder of the Invisible Light.

And it was in an article I was reading in Taproot magazine, by Jenna Woginrich, about how she had a dream to live on a homestead/small farm.  And it resonated strongly with me...she was in her 20's (well, okay I'm slightly older), living paycheck to paycheck (same) , and only knew about homesteading from the books she read ...and says she couldn't really even afford the books!
This Tiny thing...I need it for so many reasons, on so many levels.  And reading and planning...those things are my evidence of my Invisible Light...my quiet dream...my endless possibilities.

"Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.  It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift". Mary Oliver

"Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"  Mary Oliver, again.

Time to shower, leash up Henry and go for a wooded walk.

Friday, October 24, 2014

today has been a day of tucking in, and moving forward at the same time.  first thing today (after silently thinking about my Tiny Step) was to open this email from TUT:

What if today was your "last" day, Linda, or this week was your "last" week, and heaven had 10,000 angels waiting to serenade you, dancers waiting to dance with you, and reporters waiting to interview you?

Is there a grudge you'd still hold? Something you'd still regret? An unhappy memory that would matter more than forever and ever? 



Of course, I focused on the "grudge" part, and yes, we know about that.  but there's also the "regret."  what would I regret?  Since the grudge part is not really a grudge, just a decision to stop being victimized.  so - regret.  and i think i regret not speaking my truth sooner or louder or honoring it more and standing firm by it.  instead choosing to be a peacemaker and "the better person."  which i've learned is actually just being meek and taking the path of least resistance, which becomes a spiteful & hateful seed that grows in your heart.  you can trust me on that.  as i took Hen on an epic walk on new-to-him paths, the crispy breeze whooshing in my ears, and crunchy leaves swallowing my feet, i thought about seeds and growing and what needs light and what grows best in the dank, dark.  besides mushrooms, but actually mushrooms are a good example - they are a fungus, and although delicious, my first "fungus" thought is of the yuk variety.  so the spiteful & hateful seeds got pushed deep down and swallowed whole, where they grew from my growing belly and when the tendrils reached my eyes, colored everything i saw.  picture it for a minute (wishing i could draw right now)…a brown-hared woman with a root ball in her belly, and the vines and tendrils growing up through her, looking like veins.  the vines take hold of her muscles and leach on, much like the parasitic vines in my back woods.  they stunt her reach.  they grow further still, till they come out her ears and cover her eyes.  all she sees is this spiteful & hateful vine in front of her…soon, even the sunlight is blocked…even her own beautiful reflection in the mirror.  in effort to take the "best" way or the "easy" way, she has become immobilized by spite and hate.  it will take a Tiny effort to remove those vines, starting at the eyes and working through.  
So i think you'll agree it was quite a walk!  
i made a brand new bucket list that feels so doggone authentic, that it makes me want to weep.  a partial list includes (in no particular order):
1) make a raised garden
2) keep honeybees
3) learn how to can - not just for a few pickles - the whole shebang
4) learn how to crochet & knit well
5) organize my pioneer classes (this is actually #1 in my heart)
6) go in a hot air balloon
7) snowshoe
8) float on my back in the ocean without sharks around
9) spend a week alone in a stone house on a hilltop
10) learn how to use my grill

that's all i have time for right now.  but the tucking in today was more like a walking meditation and refreshment for my spirit.  it has energized my heart, which was getting a few steps sluggish, and has moved my feet to tap.

wishing you seeds of bright, glowing sunshine growing in your belly, up through your heart and lungs and through your veins, out your ears and surrounding your eyes….may your every step and word and sight beheld make you smile so big, and may your sunshine warm those around you…even though.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

nope - I haven't abandoned the Tiny Step Initiative!  I've just been too busy to come upstairs to my Big Girl computer to post.  too busy, and also, my wrists have been bugging me, so saving them for typing at work.  i am so grateful for my job.  love it.  I'm doing a Super Purge of my studio, so if there's anything you've been looking for, don't be shy - ask if i have it … if i do, and if it's in the "re-home" pile, then it's yours!
i have been working on a VERY special present for a VERY special person who's birthday is past by a few weeks…i feel terrible that it wasn't sitting there all shiny and wrapped on The Day.  but it is just needing something more and i have to wait on that.  i hope the delay will make it worthwhile.
I have a trip to texas coming up, and have TRIED to pack tiny, using just 1 carry-on.  but.  things just aren't MADE tiny sometimes.  like bulky yarn.  that takes up as much room as 2 pair of jeans.  so i may have to break down and check a bag.  i have a carry-on size suitcase, or a large suitcase - nothing medium.  dang.  i hope to be packed by sunday, so i can unpack and repack at least once, as is my habit  :)
okay - time to hit the purge…have a day filled with lightness and no baggage…..

Sunday, October 19, 2014


yes yes and yes!  (from the etsy shop of Motivational Type)
Yesterday was the Best Day Ever…but that was yesterday.  today, will be the Best Day Ever!
Having decided to unload a bunch of Stuff,  new homes for it have been popping up everywhere!  so today I'm headed to the last day of the Margaret Bourke-White exhibit, then to lunch with my Best Brother Ever and his fabulous wife - bro's birthday.  After that…packing up some shiny gemstones to mail out to their new home(s)!  I have 100 lunch bag size ziplocks - hope that's enough!  
Henry & I just went for a walk through the woods path, and boy is it ever getting crispy out! Hoping to capture the duck soon, before the pond freezes…all her buddies came and went, after a short stopover.  even the heron is gone.  so time to put plan B into effect.  soon as I figure out what plan B is.  Right now - plan C for Coffee!
Have the Best Day Ever!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Best Day Ever! Again!

I have had some serious Best Days Ever these past few months…pushing through monsters and fears and things that make me want to say "oh, no thank you."  but fight and punch and push i did, and came out with some of my Best Days Ever! sometimes it was huge, sometimes it was a small victory - or rather what some might think of as small.  or not even something to have victory over.  like going to brunch with a group of 15 women that i don't know.  shaky shaky, but it was the Best Ever, and now I have a group of new friends.  organizing dinner and movies with the women on the block…not scary at all, but a Best Day Ever.  tonight - Best Night Ever!  raced from work to a dark parking lot downtown and overpaid for parking, but the attendant asked if i was going to be walking back alone and when i said yes, she made me MADE me park near the booth.  i walked to the hockey game alone, and met up with my brother & his wife.  It was incredible.  and even though i left my phone in the car by accident, the night was amazing & worry-free.  i talked about it non-stop at work - "I'm going to the hockey game!" all day.  it was the Best Night Ever!  Tomorrow will be another Best Day Ever! a hair appointment with Amy, then the Salt Market, then making goulash for my neighbor who is on bedrest for Lyme disease or staph - they haven't figured it out yet.  okay, so it wasn't enough to go to the game?? but the friendly man in front of me just retired from the local college - yes, the one I called today TODAY to find out about some classes.  his wife, who sat with him, is head of financial aid.  yes she is.  and the man in front of them?  head of the student counseling department.  now that was a mighty mighty set up, don't you agree?  how many pieces had to fall into place for that to happen?? my brother had to buy a voucher on a discount site for 2 hockey tickets, then decide to ask me if i wanted to go.  I had to say yes, even though i worked today and the game started 30 minutes after i got off work.  normally, i need more breathing time in between stuff, but i said yes.  i had to forget my phone in the car (who DOES that??) so i would be free to chat with this man, Ken, during intermission - when coincidentally, my brother and his wife decided to walk around for a bit.  an amazing chain of events, and that was just to get me there!  so you can see why i say Best Day Ever for some seemingly mundane things.  it just blows my mind to think of the Divine Planning.  i wonder of God slaps His head some times and says Oy Vey when things worked out, but were a close call.  so tomorrow, i can't wait to see what chain of events will string together.  Sunday is purge day!  need any rusty stuff, or jewelry making supplies?
also, i plan to make a list of the Best Days since May.  there are a lot.
maybe a clarification.
I am sensitive to clinical depression.  and nasty germs and disease trying to take over an outlook, a body.  I truly truly am.  I am traveling that road myself, with trolls under bridges and dragons to slay.  what i was saying was more of a fascinated epiphany within myself…that when i feel my steps slowing, the chango-matic of my outlook could be achieved.  i ab.so.lutely did not mean to suggest that y'all are big fat fakers or lazy or enjoying a romp through the muck of despair.  you know me better, and i thank you for that.  i also thank you for sticking by me in the worst of times and in the best of times.  it's often harder in the best of times - nothing is worse than feeling down, and being around folks who are whistling a happy tune, right?
i'm in the middle of an epic re-purge, and Henry just mistook the cat for a tough toy, so it's time to go.
(from Taproot)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"The struggle ends when the gratitude begins."
 - Neale Donald Walsch

I had a dream last night that was so good!  I struggled to remember every second of it, and despite having pen & paper by my bed, it was not meant to be.  pfft.  vapor.  but one image remained with me…opening The Big Box of crayons and thinking, "these are like my friends…each one different, yet each one amazing."  crazy, hunh? i remember just that.  and the feeling of gratitude that swelled.  all day i smiled as i thought about my periwinkle and navy blue and crimson and burnt sienna friends…actually my real friends in those colors - not the crayons.  i know, confusing.  but it was such a great way to wake up.  and i realized as i walked through the woods, that i have the ability to make each day wonderful.  no - not by magic or secret potion.  but by conjuring. no matter how bad the day is - even full on crap - at some point, you can make it better, or even fantastic, just by the turn of an attitude, or by sheer force of will.  now - before you start spitting at me, let me say that i know there are those close to me who are suffering some unthinkable medical and emotional stuff.  i am not Pollyanna and i am not suggesting that if you slap a smile on, then it's all so much better.  i'm saying that i have discovered that i have been wont to say "i woke up in a bad mood, so the day is crap."  Then living the day true to the prediction. Bringing the prophecy to light. Rather than noting that i feel that the day will be crap, but then changing it by taking some action to change it.  something like, walking in the woods expressly to find The Most Beautiful leaf, or by smiling hard and fake until i squeeze out an endorphin.  or by listing every single way the day is crap, and will stay crap, and may even get worse.  i sit with pencil and paper and a mug of coffee making a list.  it'll only go one of two ways.  and the power of the tilt lies in my hands.  it may not end up Scooby Doo fantastic whistle while you work, but it may just keep your toes on the upright side of the line.  and some days, that's enough and plenty.  and some days, i demand more.  so i had a long and elegant point, but now i'm exhausted - it's getting late and i have a long day tomorrow that includes a hockey game after work (!) thanks to my brother.  so the long & elegant point will have to wait.  but know that you are in control, even just a little bit sometimes, but enough most times.  and you are my favorite shade of grateful.

**ps:  I have too much of almost everything.  If you would like some assemblage materials or jewelry supplies, please email or comment.  they are not for sale.  they are a gift to you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

there are no bad decisions - just results of decisions to live with, whether they be good, great, or different than you expected.  but any way you slice it, who's to say that the decision you made wasn't actually the "correct" one?  Ha!  let that run circles in your head for a while!
Meanwhile, it's been a week or so since i actually purged anything from my over-abundance, and i've noticed that the less you give, the less you get.  it's true.  as i sort of let the Tiny Step Initiative "rest" for a few days (telling myself that staring vacuously into the computer screen at Tiny Homes owned by other people - people who actually went out and built - counted as prep) as I let the TSI rest, i noticed a slight slip toward my old attitude and semi-defeatism.  it's okay to enjoy the Very Best Days of autumn & Indian summer, but the sourpuss cannot come back onto my face.  that is rule 1.  which is difficult in this house at this time, but there's nothing to be done about it for now.  am awaiting a ruling from a pirate wench as to a new arrangement.  and trying to cram a week's worth of essentials into a carryon.  now we'll see who's ready for tiny!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sitting outside on a warm day with the smell of Autumn surrounding me, and the wind whipping the leaves from the trees...Henry runs about chasing his ball. A perfect day!
... nothing is ever lost in this adventure of all adventures. The lessons and discoveries of every single life, no matter how large or small, difficult or easy, are added to the whole. Like stones in the base of a pyramid, they permanently raise and forever support every manner of adventure that follows. And so it is that the hearts of those who came first continue to beat in all subsequent generations forevermore. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

isn't THIS the coolest?? and nearby me.




an entire village of Tiny Houses that are amazing inside.  and they're all rentals.  built by the man in the picture.  Boiceville.  in Ithaca.

in other news, I'm reading Michael J. Fox's book Always Looking Up.  so far it's interesting, and the fact that he went from this healthy, active father, husband, movie star, TV star, etc etc, to dealing with Parkinson's every changing day is inspiring.  I want to bring my own sunshine…i want to surround myself with positivity.  and i've discovered the best way to do that is to BE the positive force.  i mean, every single person has a dumpy day or week or section of the road.  everyone does.  the difference is whether it becomes the norm, or if it doesn't.  and if the person seems intent on pulling at your ankles to bring you into the muck or not.  i have a deep undercurrent of ho-hum that licks at my heels.  but i try to blast it with happy, or at least a fake smile, to keep it at bay.  smiling is the best thing ever - it's like a magic chemistry is set in motion to release happy chemicals into your head.  as usual, not sure where this post is going, but the first word that popped into my head this morning, even before my eyes opened, was "Delight."  from nowhere - delight.  so i am expecting some delightful things today. it is de light all in here that makes me smile  :)
Last night was delightful - dinner and the movie Gone Girl for girl's night out.  a few of the other women commented that they were so thrilled that this group of us get together, because now they get to see movies that their husbands won't go to, and they themselves didn't want to go alone.  this makes me so happy to hear.  it is part of what i want to leave behind - to create community and empowerment in women.  even if it's just on my street!  but, as usual, i have a bigger idea…soon to be revealed. 
i wish you a delightful day, whatever delight means to you…be it a quiet day of tea and toast, or a loud, audacious day with trumpets blaring.