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.


Monday, March 02, 2015

I had the singular pleasure of spending an annual fall week in the New Hampshire woods with Jonatha and 149 other women…making art…making friends, lifelong strong bonds…learning our Selves…breaking open, expanding, healing…and eating the most fantastic food every prepared.  I haven't been back in a number of years, and the focus and fizz has changed a bit, but it stays in my heart…a warm little thump-thump that can sneak up on me and fill my eyes from time to time…it's the, well, everythingness of it…the smell of pine and balsam and the water lapping at the back door step and the incessant howling of laughter from warm-lit cabins at night - and these are the darkest of dark nights, with no street to light…the clink of wineglasses…the crackle of huge fireplace fires…the sharing of snacks and stories and hearts…i miss this…but it taught me what i needed to create and make space for in my "regular" life.  and i have.  except for a rock star serenading us around a wild campfire, i have created a circle of women who want to gather and get messy together - heart-wise and paint-wise.  and as i look for my next roof, i am consciously aware of my safety zones…the need for financial safety balanced with room to gather.  what am i willing to sacrifice of one to have the other?  because in my world right now, as it is evolving, there won't be room for both to the fullest that i would want.  maybe. i am visualizing what i want…have been for years.  and am ready to take a step toward a good compromise - one that is comfortable in every sense.  i giggle.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Well, at least it started out being a good day. I'd show you pictures of Henry, and regale you with tales of his unsurpassed cuteness, but it's late. And the Space Between married...and Not married, is not a place for wimps and cowards. I may make some art to that theme when I can get into my studio again. I may give a survivor workshop. Or maybe just kick this life to the curb, shed the skin, rinse and repeat. Shiny and new. With better eyes and a stronger heart. Meanwhile, a caramel colored pup is snoring next to me, and i should join him. Good night, sweet dreams to you, my friend.

Monday, February 23, 2015

i'm sorry, but it's taken me a full 10 minutes to get to this page.  Thank you, Verizon for your whiptastic slo-mo internet…after the contract is signed.

deep breath.  okay.

there's a furor going on in the web world over the movie 50 Shades Of Grey.  In case you didn't know, Grey is the main character's last name.  On my street, we have a Girl's Movie Night, which has become also a theater matinee day, since we all want out of the same 4 walls this winter.  We generally take turns picking the movie.  yesterday was not my pick, and we went to see 50 Shades.  Now, I didn't read the book, so I had no idea what the movie was about.  This will not spoil it, but it's about a billionaire - young, handsome, single, who is sexually into domination.  BUT what's been glossed over in the hate posts is it's also about a young, pretty, single grad student and her choices - she's nowhere close to being a billionaire, and probably not even a hundredaire.  They meet, she's attracted to him, and he to her.  and that's where the opinion pollsters go nuts.  There are comments like "if he lived in a trailer park, it would be an episode of CSI," etc., insinuating that the male character is a demented perv, preying on this helpless woman.  Let me say that domination is not my thing, unless we speak of chocolate.  In the movie, the woman is 100% aware of what she is getting into, inasmuch as she has been provided with a long, legal document that she must read, initial, and sign.  The terms, conditions, acts he engages in and expects her to comply with (IF she agrees) are explicitly spelled out, and she calls a business meeting with him to discuss changes she wants made to the document.  She is free to leave at any time when they are together, and he has a helicopter, chauffeur, whatever, standing by at all times for her to just walk out the door.  The sex scenes are somewhat explicit.  The movie was well done & not gratuitous, and not as involved as the book according to a woman who read the series.  What took my interest was watching as the woman in the film played him mentally…not just seeing his billions as a potential playground for herself, but drawing her boundaries for her SelfWorth, as well as her self physically.  She is not a helpless waif, who is taken in by the rich & powerful man. I probably will not see the Part 2 & 3 (& maybe 4), because I prefer a different type of movie.  but didn't walk away all inflamed about how he used her.  They used one another equally.  it was as much a head game as a physical game.  There was nothing involved that wasn't consensual.  She explored physically what she wanted, and made it clear that she wanted more from him emotionally.  He made it clear that he was unable to give her anything emotionally.  so it became her choice…fully aware of what he would/could and could not/ would not offer her.  I won't spoil it any further, but i just don't understand the furor over the movie, other than it touches on a taboo.  i find "shoot em up" movies to be more egregious, with gratuitous & graphic murder, but there are those that disagree.  So it's just whatever you care to spend your money on, I guess.  The popcorn was good.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

ugh…has it been a week? well, i apologize that this post will be tiny and kind of not worth the wait…
Today I hosted my very first workshop with adult women.  there were 10 of us and I have to say…it went very well!  I've lost countless hours of sleep over this, worrying if i was going to make a bumbling fool out of myself.  not because i've never made a bumbling fool out of myself - i do that regularly.  but because there was so much involved in the set-up and take down and the procurement of supplies and things that went wrong and awry and not the least of which was that these women were driving through a snow-hell and expecting to have A Good Time and Learn Art…soooo not too much pressure put on myself.  they had a great time (unless they lied on their questionnaires) and I am exhausted.  barely 7pm and if i had sheets on my bed, i'd be rolling over and drooling on my pillow right now.  Henry missed me.  So tomorrow I'm going to a movie with my friend, but otherwise sticking close to home.  I have a Very Early doctor appt monday, so no sleeping in then.  i need a vacation…`

Saturday, February 14, 2015

for my birthday, my brother & sister-in-law got me some magic.  It looks like a book called "You Only Live Once," but it is actually magic contained in a big, beautiful book with luscious pictures, dreams and possibilities. the premise of the book is to present wildly imaginable and fantastical things to do if you have a certain amount of time… an hour, a day, a week, etc.  And they range from taking a dance lesson to making a raft etc.  But not just a dance lesson or a raft…a dance lesson in, say, Cuba.  a Life Raft built within a 6-day adventure, Huck Finn style, in another country I can't recall right now.
They gave me the book at my most recent epic birthday gathering, and i opened then & there and began to crack open within myself…remembering that dreams can come true….remembering that, although i won't be watching eagles in Alaska or Helsinki soon, I can get up early and watch the eagles right down the street from me in the DEC wooded super secret area.  Or I can promise myself to get up early on a sunday morning a few times a month and go snowshoeing at Beaver Lake, then enjoy some hot chocolate by the fire.  In short, the book fed the embers that were dying down a bit.  it has been close to 2 months since then, and my thoughts have focused on my husband leaving…how will i live?  how will I get medical care?  how will i buy groceries?  Where will I live?  every thought imaginable.  But today - Valentine's day - i picked up The Book again, to read while i was having breakfast. (i have to read while i eat breakfast!) And the magic raced out of the book, swirled around my heart, and once again made me realize how small i was focusing…all macro instead of fish eye.  and my heart expanded as my dreams woke up once again.  and i can't stop smiling.
i have a passport with no stamps.  that is a great sadness. the world is so big and interesting…i need to find my way somewhere.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

the good, the bad, the ugly, right?
Last night was the ugliest of ugly, with threatening emails and gulping sobs, and a late night phone call that just proved how little i am loved in this house.  aside from the 4-leggeds.  and i don't write this for pity or attention or any other thing.  just to share.  just to say hello, friend - i hope i haven't worn you out…that i've heard you, as well, as you muddle through your Very Difficult times.  this sadness thing sucks us in up to our knees and waists and just to our upper lip…allowing for breath, but sometimes closing off the words.  to just sit with someone while they move through the quicksand is a gift.  to make yourself a houseguest for someone for a time, till the scariest bits are past - well, that's a shade into the color "martyr." But believe me, it is a Gift of all gifts.  to just quietly be there with someone, not as a distraction to "get them happy,"  (because it isn't always a happy/sad thing), but to just be a beating heart and helping hand…to start the bath water when they don't feel like they can even manage a shower, or make the coffee when grief has stolen their ability.  to do the simplest of simple chores.  or not. or just sit and read a book, but be there so the emptiness doesn't turn into loneliness and join up with the deep sadness and overtake a weak moment.  yes.  to keep them walking the earth when there doesn't seem to be a damn good reason why they should.  you can't solve this for them, and to offer suggestions is annoying. but the day-to-day stuff gets forgotten while the heart & mind process this Big Difficult hairy monster.  and the animals need food and playtime and the carpet needs to be vacuumed and hair needs to be washed…so many details, when all they want to do is lay there tucked into a warm, heavy quilt.
Last night was the ugliest of ugly.  so far.  i suspect in weeks to come, last night will be a trip down candy cane lane.  and i suspect i will treasure your friendship exponentially by the week.  and though i can never not ever begin to repay you, know that your least littlest kindness should come back to you by the ton.  you deserve so much more than the world could return to you.  and i thank you.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

so here it is - 3 days after my feeble promise to post again.  I am teaching a workshop on the 21st that involves a lot of materials.  and i find myself spinning in circles trying to figure out what to bring and how to "display" it.  I want the table to look appealing and fun - not just a bunch of paint tubes thrown in the middle, and paper bits on the floor to pick through.  i want people to have fun and learn something and come away with new skills, or at least say they had a blast and would never do that again.  i want to use the very best materials, but can't afford enough Golden paints for 10 people.  I want to not be so attached to certain supplies, but i also know it's okay to have some special & sacred things just for myself. and i find myself procrasting…like right now.
I got an inquiry email from Tiny House Hunters (the TV show) wanting to know about me, my plans and if i would possibly consider being on their show maybe?  not an offer yet…just an inquiry.  so hmmm.  exciting, if the timing is right.
I saw a Tiny a few weeks ago.  A friend's ex-husband was building one in her driveway.  He then planned to haul it to some land he owns in the Adirondacks.  His skeptical girlfriend in tow.  I have seen the finished version of the set of plans he was using, although he modified out the parts i didn't like anyway.  and it was Tiny, all right. we danced around each other as he showed me where the shower & bathroom would be and where the kitchen would be - he was still in the rough stages.  and i realized i couldn't go Tiny-on-wheels.  I could go Tiny Small, built in a square.  but a tiny Tiny on wheels built in a rectangle wouldn't work as well for me.  I NEED to gather folks together.  It is what keeps my feet here on this earth.  and a Tiny on wheels wouldn't allow for that.  i could maybe see a Tiny on wheels as my private area from a small cottage.  but not as my main living space.
and last night, I did some laundry and realized how uncomfortable i felt with the second load.  when i started going Tiny, I gave all my clothes to the Thrifty Shopper a/k/a The Thrifty.  Almost all….anything that i didn't LOVE, didn't fit, didn't fit my RIGHT NOW job or current lifestyle…to the Thrifty.  so many folks are now blessed with suits that have mile high shoulder pads in size 2.  i will likely never be a size 2 again.  and will likely never work at a job requiring a suit - because a suit means stockings and heels.  i'm allergic and carry a card saying "NO HEELS."  (i lied right there).  giggling maniacally, i started going through every every thing.  i broke attachments, i gave away entire walls of art supplies.  i grew light.  i was a size 2, attachment-wise.  and by "attachment" i mean that every every thing went out into the hall and had to pass the ownership test to be allowed back in:  If i bring this back in, will it own me, or will i own it?  will having this in my life be a burden to drag around home to home, or will it enhance my life.  the garbage pile grew…the free giveaway pile grew.    i still have a long way to go upstairs in my home studio, and it's pretty much an unstructured mess, but i have a vision, so i'm cool with it.  i had thousands of dollars of jewelry supplies.  gone mostly.  i kept some, and still have some to go to their new (SURPRISE!) forever homes.  I have a very difficult time getting to the post office, not only because it's located in the very worst place to try to get to, and not only because every Sr. citizen shows up at noon just before the free lunch at the Sr. center next door and they just want to buy ONE STAMP but want to chat with the clerk at the exact time when the business folks and people who work need to get there.  but it's just such a sad place. (side note: I want to set up a kiosk outside to sell discount stamps to anyone with an AARP card and will chat for hours.  i will gladly be sponsored by everyone else.)  (i am old too, so i can say this.  but not as old as that.  and hope to never need to buy a daily stamp just to have human contact).
BUT! yesterday i discovered that Staples is a USPS drop off place, so Kim may get her October birthday present before next year, after all.
but back to laundry.
i felt like i suddenly had too much stuff.  i went from having an 8-foot by 10-foot closet in each of 4 bedrooms - crammed with my stuff on hangers and shelves and tubs and strewn across floors…to 1-and-a-half dresser drawers (small) and 1 rod in a coat-sized closet, with one of those hanging organizers that look good, but take up more space than they are useful for.  and realized that i could "turn over" my Thrifty wardrobe every month if i wanted.  so i didn't feel like i needed to have EVERYTHING in the store…just in case.  but i started to get more stuff…bringing it from an upstairs dresser…socks, yoga clothes…bras…y'all - i would like to think that i still yoga, but i don't.  and i have but 2 feet under my ankles, so don't need eleventy five pairs of socks.  i need 5 pair, plus slipper socks.  and i have those.  i don't NEED anything more in any category (unless dog trainer is one of the categories, because Henry has had just enough of winter and has begun to eat the house).
hello - are you still there?  Cause I can go long, i know.  i apologize.
There was an early group of Tiny house owners who went mondo extremo, with living just a shade on the McDonald's side of survivalist.  then the young urbans took to it like a duckless duck to Dasani.  and soon a Tiny culture was born.  there was a quiet sector of folks who just wanted good, cheap housing, and didn't want their stuff to own them.  soon the cost of a Tiny began to creep up.  In the beginning, $19K was reasonable to expect.  now, $60, 70, 100K can be found.  if i had that, i would have a regular house.  in my area, you can still get a condo-style place for $45K in a very good neighborhood.  or a 6-bedroom house in a cruddy/scary neighborhood. just sayin.  meanwhile, many of those early-on folks are shucking their Tiny homes.  Too tiny, they say.  hard to live with another person in such a small place.  too much work to do the simplest thing - like get water from a tap or wherever.  living a life THAT simple is not what we expected, say others.  Yes - it seems very idealistic and good and kinda fun…till the toilet stops working, or till the water freezes and you are desperate for coffee and the nearest Starbucks is too far.  and they are bailing.  i don't fault them in the least, and i don't have a neener neener attitude.  i give them huge props for dreaming it and living it.  you can change your mind, folks!  you can.  but to not try…there's the shame.
and i use this information to overlay my own experiences and general needs/wants/make up/boundaries, to see if i might be able to save some time and not go the Tiny route for a home, but instead keep it tiny for my lifestyle.
and i think i can live in a Small house/cottage/whatever, but not a Tiny-on-wheels.  i need y-o-u, my friend, to come for dinner with 8-10 other fabulous people.  i need you there in the winter, inside, watching movies with hot cocoa or cold wine.  i need my house to be a gathering place for friends.  it is a requirement for my life, in every sense of that phrase.  and that cannot be done in a Tiny-on-wheels.  i tried manipulating the plans every which way, but it just won't work in a comfortable way.  such a problem that i have a few friends!
so that's where i've been.  feeling uncomfortable because i have too much stuff.  not even a year ago could i have imagined that thought.
i'm going to just say goodbye quickly now, because Henry is barfing who-knows-what.  it has been a long winter, my friends.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

stay with me…i've been working many many hours, and sleeping erratically, so it's to your benefit that i haven't posted…but coming up this weekend, which is only 1 day away….i will.
And will hopefully have more news about an inquiry to appear maybe possibly on Tiny House Hunters show!

Friday, January 30, 2015

the snow came down pretty good last night - not like many of the coastal towns, but still a respectable showing.  Perfect Stepdaughter and I went out to a sushi place for dinner, and today we both feel unwell.  I lollygagged in bed till 10am…well, in bed and then running to the ladies room.  Henry stayed put, curled up and warm.  no friend to play with today - she ran him ragged yesterday, and today i just wanted some time to myself.  i say that, but as we speak, he is whining and running up the stairs to stare at me - we are apparently under attack by a flock of mourning doves.  not exactly US, per se, but they are at the bird feeder, and Henry feels the need to keep that area clear of any and all forms of life.  they may eat his supply of bunny poo, after all.  why do dogs DO that??
i have to say that this has been a most interesting run of months…the growth rings on my core have to be HUGE…if i was a tree…and i feel like i'm settling into myself.  i've never been one to change myself for the company i'm with, or for who i think my reader might be, but i do feel even more "settled in" than ever before, and even more unapologetic.  hard to explain.  in the past, i've almost felt like i had to be hard and harsh and swear a lot, just to feel like i was not conforming to someone's idea of me being a proper lady.  (ha!) now, i know that i can just be, and however i feel like acting or reacting is proper - because it's me.  that isn't to say i'm going to intentionally start swearing like a sailor.  that isn't me.  but that like teeny drop of a feeling that i should hold back or push forward to suit the situation is no longer a part of me.  i am naturally polite (ish) and thoughtful, but not always the way people expect me to be - especially since i started back in radio.  the perception is that you are who you act like on the air.  not so true.
ok, how i got going in that direction, i don't know.  but - despite feeling wonky from bad sushi, and despite looking outside and seeing a white out of blowing snow, i feel grown and tall and self-assured.  so there's hope for everyone!
maybe i'll post more tomorrow when i (hopefully) feel better and make more sense!  good idea.  i was going to talk about the deep respect and admiration i have for my friends, but i clearly am not tracking well enough to do the topic justice.  so tomorrow it is….

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Isn't she sweet?  Not mine, but she is for sale, and cute as a bug's ear, as they say in Texas.  which is where she lives right now.

so, it's been a few weeks of growing and kicking and screaming and having my email hacked into and things missing and and and.  so to spare you all that tumbling, i stayed quiet.  it is what it is, and if Someone feels the need to be a super sleuth, i cannot control their actions.

the flu knocked me flat for a few days, and in my fevered state, i realized truly and deeply that I Do Not Have Control Over Everything.  a simple truth that most people "get" early on.  but there are a great majority of folks, like moi, who have always had to be In Charge…Be Responsible.  and for us to be able to be successful in our perceived LifeJob, we had to control everything…we had to keep all the plates spinning, we had to Be Prepared for anything and everything like a Girl Scout gone rogue and taking it to the nth power.  our purses needed to be checked as baggage - we carry aspirin and bandaids and phone books and charging devices for any/all electronic gear and a change of clothes and a full course meal steaming hot from a portable crock pot in the side pocket and and and. And - most of it Not For Our Own Benefit…we are the Go To gals.  we can perform a Mcgyver Miracle, given half a chance.  it is our mission.  our place in the order of things.  and in my sweating/chilling/sweating state, i gave it up.  i realized there were just things i couldn't control, and trying to do so was eating me alive.  and then there was a whole category of things i didn't want to control anymore.  and then i realized that i couldn't really control any of this shit anyway, so what the heck?? i could make decisions for my reactions and for where i want my feet to travel, but that was it.  i could control myself and my junk.  and that was it.  and i realized that was plenty and enough.  i could react nicely or like the full-on bitchy person i realized i have capability of being, but either way of acting can have the same result, so nice is nicer.  as i lay there with a little caramel dog tucked beside me snoring, i realized all this.  in a flash of epiphany.  and i realized that all these years of taking care of other people had just served to make me bitter.  i wanted to lead the parade - not clean up after it all the time.  and i did it so well, that it became natural for people to just Depend On Me to do it.  i had a conversation with my mother the other day, wherein i choked out that I Just Wanted Someone To Take Care Of Me For A Change - that i had spent my whole adult life making sure no one else slipped on the ice, and had let opportunities go by for myself.  (this was just moments pre-flu, so the pity party phase was in full swing).  her response?  "But you're so good at knowing what to do."  i learned all that Stuff.  and not for free.  there is a swing of the pendulum between hedonism and rampant selflessness of a co-dependant nature.  i intend to live at 6-o'clock…right in the middle.  there's more to say on this, but i have an appointment to see a Tiny!! catch ya later!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

no no no no no nobody

it's true.  you are unique.  you might paint the same painting at Sip N Paint but it isn't the same.  you may cut your hair exactly like someone you admire.  but it isn't the same.  you may try to follow someone else's path to success, and but their "how to be me" book, but it won't work - you are destined for a different and unique path.  you really are.  and if it takes you 50-some-odd years to realize it, well then - it does.  and that learning time/process is part of your unique path.  you can buy self-help, follow me to bliss books/ecourses, etc.  But - trust me…it isn't where you belong.  go inward every day and listen…i call it prayer and listening, you may call it meditation or whatever - words are just words...the real, true maybe scared part of you that knows the way…that knows left turn from right turn and will guide you truly…go inward quietly for even a few minutes a day, before the bustle and hassle…listen to your core.  i know i sound like a yoga teacher, but it is at the gut where your truths will be found - the part of you that is a no BS-zone…in that packed down ball you keep squeezing and squeezing like a snowball, hoping it will go away or stay small…it is the most exciting part of you…and the scariest…your journey.  i made the mistake of letting up on the pressure, and parts have begun to explode out…glimpses of futures possible and wanted and authentic and so amazingly tantalizing that i dare not even hope they are real.  in case.
i know a woman who shared her story with me.  she is a woman in total alignment with herself, as far as i can tell.  she walks gracefully and with purpose.  she talks slowly with meaning.  she lives a life unimaginable - a 7-figure company of her own (her 2nd one, by the way), a beautiful house on the ocean's front porch, travels to exotic lands and famous dinner parties filled with intoxicating conversation and music.  she was born to this privilege?  no.  when she shared her story with me, the part that stayed with me was that she was sleeping in her studio and showering daily at a friend's house.  a few bucks away from homeless.  but she realized that she had to leave the situation she was in - or choose to stay there, be physically comfortable but have to hack off the emotional side of herself - the part where she knew what she knew.  where her core was.  for so many years, i remembered only the scary part - the part about not having a home per se, and so i stayed put.  but still the dreams and knowings and urges rumbled about inside, taking on physical aspects as well, in the form of migraines and the like.  but see, i can't follow her story.  or anyone's story.  i have my own to write.  for whatever reason, there is a unique story within each of us.  and although we inspire each other by our courage and by our creativity and by our just plain shouldering through it, we each have our own path to walk.  i have no need of self-help books or how-to books.  i don't need fixing.  i do need to listen, though.  listen and do.  find my way.  FIND my way.  find MY way.  and once i realized that i am made with just the exact size, shape, temperament, skills, and options that i need to complete my run for the roses, it was an easy next step.  scary, but easier.  because i knew i couldn't fail.  i knew just knew i would always be on the right path of my journey if i just listened.  and rather than think "but i don't have this or that" if i keep my eyes focused on the prize ahead without wavering or resting, then i will walk straight and true.  and hopefully inspire you to do the same.  eye on the prize.  whatever that is to you.  whatever Tiny step that is for you today.  yes, the Tiny Step Initiative is in full bloom - join me on your own.  what is your goal…what is your gut telling you?  what tiny step can you take today to get there?  maybe just acknowledging your gut.  maybe more.  it's your tiny step.  every day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I don't feel good - those words are an understatement. Day becomes fevered night becomes day again with bone-crunching chills.  Henry stands guard, sleeping close to my body in case I get up. In all my medicated haze, 2 thoughts come to me over and over...You Have No Control Over This, and also a strange gratitude. Gratitude because now I can have an inkling of what so many go through with chemo, and other nastiness we put our bodies through as we reach for health.  And I'm certain this is the tip of the iceberg, this flu.  The other thought, the control one, I will hold that closer in this public forum, for now.  But when you think of it, life...happens.  We can control our reactions to what happens, and how we make our decisions, but the decisions that come to us to be made - life is just as likely to sling hash at us as it would a winning lottery ticket.  We make decisions, and those decisions lead us left, or lead us right.  Then THOSE choices take us here or there, and onward to infinity.  Life is about the choices we make, her fever said. Whether you ride the roller coaster car frontwards or backwards, it's going to end up at the same place.  Better to see where you're headed than where you've already been.  And the view never changes backwards. Yes, we can learn from our choices by looking backwards, but it's the mulling that will get you.  If you aren't steering the cart, it'll go where it wants.  And you still have to deal with the choices...made by you, or made by the cart.
Okay, here come the chills...back under the covers for now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Grim creeping death

Yes, I finally have an excuse for not being here...the flu, a/k/a Grim Creeping Death.  And while calling in sick to my job is not usually an option, and while a co-worker is on my heels trying to take my job...I am not physically able to drive in. It would be like Sammy Davis, Jr driving with 1 eye closed.  I ache. I'm hot. No, cold. My hair hurts, y'all. I sound like a man. And I am a total screw up...Needing a shower to warm up & clear off the fever stank,  I grabbed my foofie soap and was not surprised that it was actually dark chocolate that I was trying to lather up with. So extra shower time. Did I mention it's -3 degrees out, and Henry is a dog who's ancestors come from a much warmer climate. So it's out and in and out and in, trying to get his biznesss done. And every step is killer.  I am grateful for this flu.  At least it takes me mind off Other Things. And reminds me that I am not in control. A lesson that is intent on smashing into every pore & fiber of my being. Which is tres tres scary, but I am too sick to give a poop. And reminds me that there are some close hearts that feel like this every day. There are a ton of things dangling ...the Tiny, Badge of Courage badges, and from last year - the virus project.  I am about to succumb to the wonders of NightQuil, and am not sure any of this makes sense.  I'll reread it later, and likely curse spell check correct. Cough cough.
Wishing you a germ-free day.

Monday, January 12, 2015

this morning, while i wasted some time waiting for my turn in the shower, i happen to pull up my sidebar of bookmarks on my Big Girl Computer.  I feel such distance from the place/person that sunk in deep to some of the art blogs and websites.  I'm afraid that it would physically hurt to look at them.  my latest piece sits gathering dust on my worktable…i am unable to approach it.  i hesitated to post here at all today, given my recent state of mind and heart, but didn't want you to think i'd abandoned this space.  so many blogs have been left untended for so so many months…what's going on with the blog world?  too slow?  has twitter now defined our attention span?  well, anyway…
Henry continues to steal my heart…he is my sunshine and moondust, and keeps my feet here.  somedays literally.  and Purrl watches, a bit closer these days, even snuggling on the bed at night. i won't lie - this is hard.  harder than childbirth, which has a end point in sight.  i am not living life gracefully and fully.  and having had a summer of graceful fullness, with plans to build tiny's and beehives and gardens and all sorts of joyful noise, i feel like the plug has been pulled in a giant drain.  now you see why i hesitated to post?  lovely, uplifting thoughts on this monday morning.  but it would not be authentic to only write about the happy wonderful moments.  I remember reading a blog for about a year, thinking "why can't i have that life??" After a long conversation with the writer, i realized she had the same good/bad/ugly that everyone has - she just didn't want anyone to think her life was anything but wonderful…she lives in a UnBeLiEvAbLe house on the water, and never gives a 2nd thought to a budget or expenses, etc.  She felt it would be anti-grateful to reveal her bad stuff.  duh.  she had set the bar so high for the rest of us, that we couldn't possibly compare our best Best and come up a winner winner chicken dinner. so i share the good/bad/ugly/hard/easy…all that stuff.  maybe i'm wrong to, but it is my blog, after all.  :)
so bring it Monday.  just bring it…bronchitis, no sick days, snow, cold…all of it, Monday…knock me down and i'll keep getting up because, Monday?  You don't own me.  I have places to go and things to do.  And Monday?  I have Strength, and an Advocate that can kick your ass back to last wednesday.  Just ask Thursday.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Hello baby year!

There is so much I am expecting out of the next 364 days. I dare not look back to summarize the past year...and yet...it ended in such a way that makes me want to stomp my feet to get the last of it off my shoes.  But in all that ugliness, comes the Phoenix.  In the easy flow that was last year's beginning, came an abrupt disturbance and disheveled-ness and disruption and every other dis you can throw at a person. And it became goodness.  There became a new way of being.  A new outlook, and deeper understanding of what and who and how.
 And I burned to the ground. But rebuilt...better and better and better.  I went deeper than I thought I could, and grabbed tight to the tethers that held me fast.  And pulled.  I learned to say Yes. To things that used to terrify me.  I rode a horse.  I said yes, and gathered a glowing, sparkling cloud of women around me, then watched as they wove their lives around one another...a Rapunzel braid of hearts.  I have had more fun in the past 7months than I've had in quite some many years.  And I've had a heart broken into pieces too small to fix. And I've risen again and again.  No choice.  But I learned to do it with grace, and thankfulness and deep, sincere gratitude for the lesson.  What I thought of as despair turned into a way to learn how to soar...to step off the edge of the cliff, and just know there are safety harnesses to hold me.  So in the midst of all the really truly awful stuff, I learned how to step to the side, find someone in need, and give give give.  Light conquers darkness Every Single Time.  I learned the difference between boundaries and walls.  I drew a map of what I want my life to look like.  And it includes a lot of things that would surprise you, if you've known me for a long time.  It has always been my wish to be a philanthropist.  And this year my wish came true in so many ways and in so many different forms.  I know of one special project that has yet to come about...the time isn't ripe yet, but it's germinating as we speak.
I spent the day today in my pj's! Feeling decadent and sleepy.  Henry, if I'm honest, didn't know it was his birthday.  And if he did, he seemed to prefer spending it napping next to me while I read my Nook.
So what do I expect from the next bunch of days, weeks, months? Fire.  I expect the burn will continue for some time.  I expect I'll become accustomed to the heat - expecting it.  The difference is that I'll welcome it, knowing it will bring soft, green tendrils of new growth.  Rather than be fearful of risk, I will plunge into the cool waters, knowing there is fire all around, and the risk is worth the gamble.  As long as you watch for me to surface, I'll be safe.  And you know for certain, I'm watching for your bubbles, too.
I have a list of Things That Need To Be Reckoned With, and hope to make my way through it beginning soon...in between chili & Sky Lantern parties, and snowshoeing and concerts and bonfires. It doesn't pay to be too serious, does it?
I wish you each the most incredible collection of days, weeks and months ahead...and don't be surprised if you see a few sparks.  Be grateful for the light.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

stolen from Patricia Seggebruch's blog:

‘Deep in the wintry parts of our minds we are hardy stock and we know there is no such thing as work-free transformation. We know that we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and then sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there.’
Carrie Newcomber
- See more at: http://www.pbsartist.com/blog/#sthash.XMgSBiec.dpuf

yes.  We Will Have To Burn To The Ground.  funny, in the past few days, I've planned a few gatherings, and all of them involve fire...a chili/sled party with a Big Bonfire...a Sky Lantern release, which involves lighting a flame under a tiny hot air balloon...my birthday cake had candles...and a few other get together things.  so i accept the Burn.  i will look forward to what may grow back after, much like the tender, green shoots that appear following a lightning strike and fire in a forest...the shoots push up through the ash, and grow strong and woody.  the forest is replenished anew.

wishing you a new year filled with brand new shoots.....

Sunday, December 28, 2014

candles candles candles

today is my birthday.  yesterday was my party.  i made it easy and casual…if a person wanted to, they could stop in at the golfcourse restaurant near my house and say hi, have a bite, have a drink, eat some cake.  easy peasy. of course i had an 80-pound cake
i know, right?
At one point, in the midst of all the magic of being on a sugar high, plus a glass of wine, i realized that i was one lucky girl.  i realized how empowered i felt by the friends gathered at the ever-lengthening table…how i believed in each one of them, and they believed in me.  not just word-wise, but i truly believe that each of them could do whatever they decided they wanted to do.  and this made me feel so strong.  i realized that each of us has a purpose in one another's life, and that purpose may be to just be there - be around…their magic meets your magic and combusts into something super deluxe.  there were people at the table that knew me, but not another soul in the room.  but the room was filled with laughter and talk and hopefully new friends made.  there were a few people in particular that i knew would tend the conversational fires, so i felt as much a guest as anyone - i didn't have to be hostess with a capital H.  which was part of the reason i chose to have the event in a restaurant, and also why i chose that particular spot.  the view was gorgeous, with french doors overlooking the golfcourse,  a roaring fireplace, relaxed atmosphere and no rush.  and friends.  as each one arrived, i was overwhelmed.  i hope i mingled enough, but my spirit was filling up with all the goodness, and it was hard to keep track.  It was exactly what i envisioned for my Sunday dinners, and holiday open house dinners.  Someone remarked about the number of folks that showed up, and said they don't have as many friends, and i realized once again, how very very blessed i am and how grateful i am.
thank you.  you.  for being a part of my life, simply by reading this blog.

Friday, December 26, 2014


i started walking again today.  having lost a bunch of weight since The Announcement, i figured i may as well count it as a blessing.  as i walked, my thoughts turned a hamster wheel.  i let them, knowing they'd sort themselves out.  sure enough they did.  Why do you fear?  because i can't see the path.  Why do you fear that?  because i don't trust.  Why don't you trust?  because i've always been left to clean up after the circus.  Why do you clean up?  because my sawdust is intwined.  Why do you join such messy circuses?  ahhhh…the unanswered question.
maybe sunday's question to start with…tomorrow, i gather with my besties for a birthday…mine.  which is actually sunday, but…

not bad for 6,324 steps.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


here is what i imagine for my life: a garden.  bee keeping. a large long dining room table to fit anyone who wants to join me to break bread and feel included or just enjoy the sunshine of each other's company.  or maybe a huge round table so everyone can see one another.  stitching.  mending.  baking bread.

on this christmas eve, i wish for you dreams…whether they come to pass, or whether you simply savor the sweetness of their form in your mind…dreams, and no regrets.  that is my wish for you on this night.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

i get it

I get it.  i get it.  i get it.  i am learning some difficult lessons…i am not the first down this path, i know this for certain.  but it is my first step down this particular road.  i can share some of the lessons with you, if you promise not to feel sorry for me or think this is a ploy for pity.  i am traveling a journey, just like everyone else in life is traveling a journey.  mine is not happy or easy right now, but i am reaching through the brambles to get the sweet fruit.
i get it, now…the part about looking outward.  always.  i'd like to think that i'm a thoughtful person.  i'd like to think that in my life, i keep a watchful eye for those who need a hand - maybe having their christmas layaways paid off, or paying it forward at the grocery store or some gesture.  but i now understand that there is a deeper, or maybe just different, or maybe Also Another place of need.  maybe a smaller gesture. and it's especially apparent at This Time Of Year…inclusion.  i am doing my very best to stay busy…to keep my mind from rolling into the dark corners and pinging off the footboards of the walls.  and i'm incredibly grateful to the neighbor who asks me to meet her at the mall Yes The Mall on saturday before christmas to shop with her.  and for the friend who invites me to breakfast.  and the folks who realize that New Years will be an everlasting hell for me.  i am grateful for the lesson.  i am grateful to the friends and folks who have included me, not fearing that i may break out into a hivey song about Life Done Done Me Wrong.  i won't.  i am like a puppy - just happy to be going for a walk, even if it's raining.  And last night, after i mostly finalized my New Year's eve plans, i thought back on the times when i could have included someone, but figured they had it all nailed down - figured that they probably had plans that didn't include required relatives of a certain level of embarrassment or tension.  and i realized that no matter how much i didn't want to be where i was that day - they would have been thrilled to just have people to be with…to break bread with humans.  and so my Big Tiny for the day (since this epiphany occurred at 6:15am as my husband stumbled home) is that i need to be more watchful for opportunities to be more inclusive, and that i need to not be afraid to ask to be included.  and to send my apologies to those i may have had the opportunity to welcome in - but wasn't paying enough attention.  and i would ask that you do the same…adding an extra plate at the table, or cup of coffee…means. the. world.  and let them bring their dog.

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.
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.