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.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Motivated type

I found these in an Etsy shop a while back….

and am totally down with decorating with them!  I'm looking forward to hanging artwork - mine and others' - around my home.  yes - home.  
and maybe this in the kitchen...
am having a love affair with Teal/aqua/orange in a big way this past year.  to my surprise, Kim's guest bedroom is decorated in those colors.  such a gracious hostess, with flowers on the side table waiting for me!  I have some art-to-loan for her that I think she'll like…
today is day 2 of epic weather, so it's off to the trails with Henry.  Make your day special, friend.

Monday, April 13, 2015

you just never know.  you don't.  when a friend calls you asking for advice...you may be the 3rd or 4th or 8th person to hear the dilemma.  it's what we women do..."troubles talk", they call it in all the books.  Men call it hen parties.  we talk it out.  we hug it out.  we come to conclusions as best we can, and move on decisions as they need to be moved on.  and an inkling from this conversation may join up with a spark from that conversation, and become a full-on sparkle by the time it reaches the 4th conversation.  it's what we do, we women.  we mend, we take a piece of this and add it to a piece of that and make a whole cloth.  we patch the thin spots...the holes.  we take the old and make it usable again.  and we do it by talking...by learning from those we've gathered around us like a cloak.  those that haven't tired of the endless swirl until a conclusion is reached...those that have stood in the fulcrum before, or maybe are in the midst of their own swirling reality and are happy to step up/step out for a few minutes/hours/days, in order to perhaps learn from the women they are holding, or perhaps just to hold them.  I have a conclusion.  i have a set course.  at long last.  and i will share it with you as soon as the ink dries.  until then, please know that there has never been a person who appreciates you more than i do these past months...that i fully recognize how exhausting it must have been to be near my swirling heart, and how brave and steadfast you have been.  "thank you" - seems way too little. there needs to be a new word invented. how about "friend?"

Sunday, April 12, 2015

today has been All About Henry day, for the most part.  First we walked in the 6-Legged 5K with quite a few hundred other dogs, plus 2 ladies from my Women's Group.  Henry was the very last dog to cross the finish line! in fact, the guy was boxing up the electronic timer clock as we were approaching.  hen conked out on the ride home, then got a 2nd wind, but i had Open Houses to attend, so he got to nap.  the afternoon was a good exercise in elimination.  i honestly don't know how some people can live like they do…nuff said.
Henry & I went back out for a long walk with his girl, then for a ride to check out some neighborhoods.
i am feeling a bit better knowing where to point my arrow, though there are still some hamsters in my head.  some interesting thoughts trying to take root, and i will say - "I AM good enough" to them.  moving towards having conversation besides my situation.  i am boring, in that regard.
time for a cool drink and to put my feet up…best birthday to Mikki, and a fantastic week to y'all!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

i think what's kept me chasing the rabbit is that i was never raised or taught to know how to make good decisions…what goes into the process?  the pros, the cons, the nebulous maybes.  So when i'm faced with a Life Decision, i tend to weigh things out to the nth degree.  which makes me an excellent producer or Life Coach or organizer, but makes me feel overwhelmed in my own life.  yes, it's true - i can cut through the bull doodie in your situation…i can see with a laser light precision the black and the white.  and it may be that i need more definitives in my life right now…i need to know THIS or THAT will be the case before i can point my arrow toward the target i choose.  and meanwhile, stop trying to drive a car with no wheels.  figuratively speaking.
stand. rise.


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Today, I am grateful for choices. And grateful for the luxury of complaints. And again realizing how damn lucky I am to be able to work in radio. All random & unrelated thoughts.  Realizing that most of the time, there is no perfect choice...just the best out of what's presented to you. And that's usually pretty darn good.
I am mostly grateful for you.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

oddly, often this is where i come when i have no words…when i need my fingers tapping out letters to sort out thoughts that are unbearable or unspeakable, or when all i want to do is howl or slam a door…then slam it again and again…when i have become raw emotion with no thoughts or plans - just pure. raw. emotion.  and at the same time, feel strangely uncomfortable with the constant negative posts…but i can't be anything but honest with you.
as i sift through the overwhelming task of packing up my studio, then my house, then my life, i'm bombarded with sneak attacks and ambushed with gripping memories that just rip me apart- photos of my dearest Kita and Nikki - bits of fur, saved In Case, which of course came to pass…a photo album of my father and his sisters and brother - all of them gone now.  oh how i would love their advice right now…oh how badly i need them.  I have no one to turn to for advice between this decision or that one, and it keeps me spinning in circles…terrified to make the wrong decision, then feeling like there is no wrong decision, then knowing that i will screw it all up…back and forth and around again.  rinse/repeat.  this is unfamiliar territory…unfamiliar to be so deep for so long.  i'm past the point of not wanting to ask for help - i want the help, but have no one to ask.  yes, i have so many sweet souls to hold and lend willing smiles, and i am deeply grateful for that.  i need someone with a good solid background in reconfiguring a life…the nuts and bolts part…the where-to-live decisions, the how to live decisions.  And someone to sit and hold open a box while i stash away the remnants, marked with a sharpie, to be stored away….somewhere…till…whenever.  from time to time, a sob escapes, and though my soon-to-be ex husband hears it all, he sits and watches a sports show downstairs on a TV he wants to claim as his take away. it is all one big shame.

tomorrow is easter for some…a time of renewal.
for others, Passover -

Passover is the holy and joyous festival that commemorates Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt. The Jews cried out to God in their oppression, and God sent Moses to deliver them.

I need a Moses.

it's times like these that i feel like a rubber band stretched almost past it's boundary.

I hope to have a more uplifting conversation next time…i'm tired of being the one who sucks the joy out of a moment, or at least feeling like that.  i just can't fake this, though. for now, the elephant grows larger. for now. my hope is that this mess will be of use to someone…that someone will feel less alone, less embarrassed by how their emotions have begun to lead them by the nose, and leak out at the most inopportune time…that someone will see that even the strong can be made weak, and that it's okay to be everything to everybody, but equally okay to take time to be nothing to no one also…that someone will see how a friend in need may continue to be a friend in need for a time, and even though it may become tiresome, you may be the only thread that tethers them to this earth.  but it will get better.  it just has to.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Well, hello. I'm en route to home from a few precious days with a Big Heart...one who knew my quietness was just an attempt to keep the raw ugly in for a few days and move toward normal...even if just moment by moment. It was so so good...time to jump on a plane now....

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tears as salty as the ocean.
Back & forth...wondering.
Conflictions and absolutions
Beat down a path
Keep my dreams awake
Keep pouring pitchers of
Tears as salty as the ocean.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I am learning silence.

I am learning, again, to listen.

I am hearing the sound of a clanging bell, and am trying to tune it to a sweet melody of sound...a sound reawakening and remembered...more delicious to hear...

It's all in the breath.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

unfold your own myth

one of my favorite poems by Rumi, and included in a recent blog post by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch.  I have a piece of artwork with this quote included in the collage.  but i turned it in my hand this morning, letting the sunlight sparkle through it…unfold your own myth.  a myth is a magical, yet usually untrue, story we tell.  so, "my own myth" would be a story i've told myself…the beginning of that line of the poem is "Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone for others, unfold your own myth."  I always looked at that as meaning that i shouldn't sit on the sidelines watching others' success - that i should leap up and make my own.  that's true.  but another way of looking at it is: unfold, get rid of, the untrue stories you tell yourself…you can't because…or, i am such-and-such - too fat, too old, too slow, too whatever or not enough whatever.
you are.  you are you.  and you were made that way for a reason.  unfold your myth…the tight little wad of paper that has your failings on it…unfold it and float it off somewhere, or burn it in a blazing bonfire.  but whatever YOUR myth is, unfold it.  like an origami dragon, you'll see it's just a piece of paper.
then write the new story of the new myth on that piece of dragon paper.
don't be satisfied when someone says the water is too cold - someone else's myth - someone else's bad experience - someone else's journey… unfold your own.

now i'm off to visit a Rock Fairy and will be MIA for a week.  enjoy your new myth.  i'll be watching...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Can we talk a little more tonight?  I've been on the couch or in bed most of the day with intestinal rage, and feel better now, but am really, really rested.  Henry, unfortunately, has stayed by my side, and is virtually vibrating with energy right now.  He's running the hall...click click click...then boom! Up on the bed.  Then down the hall again like a little monkey in high heels.
I'll blame it on the belly, but today was a day of hopefulness and hopelessness all rolled into one little sushi package.  I'm packing for Florida ...yay!  Henry will be missed....boo.  He's done everything but pee on my suitcase.  The cat has curled on top, then found a way in and curled inside.  This may be an answer to having too many legs to move.  Kidding. But it's difficult - Purrl was a buddy and companion between the time that Nikki passed away and Henry came to live here.  S/he has rules about petting (3 times only) and is generally happier wherever I am not.  But there are a few times during the day when Purrl absolutely needs to tell me s/he appreciates my life here on earth, and that is truly a spectacle.  But in a small area, with a dog who eats kitty poo like candy, what to do?  Right now, our downstairs walk-in shower is where the litterbox is stashed. It works.  But in a smaller place, a Tinier space, there may not be a spot that's workable, and a cat needs a litterbox.  Being clawless, Purrl stays indoors and dreams magical dreams of the outdoors.  And hides in the dryer.
Yep, off on a tangent.
So, while my mirror reflected back hideousness, my heart felt warm and confident.  While I felt grateful for feeling better by late afternoon, I felt completely sad about not being invited to dinner with stepdaughter & her boyfriend. That's the part of this tearing apart that's surprisingly difficult.  It shouldn't be a surprise, but I guess it is.  And I wonder if anyone in the family has any idea why this is happening?  I wonder what they've been told. The wagons are being circled, and I'm still getting used to the idea that my services are no longer wanted. I'm still being asked to perform menial chores...answer: no.  Which is somewhat even more infuriating. Little bully tactics, like walking loudly above my room, or dropping something on the floor - every night- waking Henry and sending him barking and running down the hall, waking me for the zillionth time.  I am looking forward to a string of days with nights of good sleep.  Nights where I don't need to wonder about the alcohol intake vs the artillery in the house.
So again my head swirls to this compass point.
I look forward to days and nights that are filled with my own-ness. Despite the potential for lonely ugly cries.  Despite the certainty for magical growth.
My girlfriend's child at the farmers market:  "but what if a potato doesn't want to be a potato?  Could it be something else when you pull it out of the  ground?"
I've broken through the ground...my roots are growing deep, and my arms stretch upward through the ground, searching for warming light...sunshine to grow with.
My mother used to sing me to sleep...sometimes a lullaby, sometimes Canadian drinking songs...who knew.  But she always sang You Are My Sunshine (but NOT the hideous last verse. I mean, really?). I sing that to Henry because A) I'm freaky like that, and B) I'm kinda singin it to me from her sort of.
Yep, I probably should have wasted this time on Facebook, rather than trail about in circles, dragging words behind me.
The short version in plain English is that today mostly sucked, with moments of sparkles.  Very small moments, but there all the same. Like my fizzy Lush bath. That was good. And I left all the heart-shaped confetti in the tub after.

Just a 4-letter word.
as far as words go, it isn't very remarkable…1 syllable. no crazy tongue twists needed.  a puff of breath and it's out.
yet "fear" the concept…the reality can stop a freight train's worth of life from rolling…can make a molehill into a mountain…can paralyze and procrastinate and cause more havoc than a barrel full of bees.
i remember talking to a suicide caller when i was at 911…needing to keep him on the line till police arrived…i asked him why he was planning to kill himself…he replied that he had lost his job that day…i asked what was the worst case scenario he feared would happen... he was afraid he'd lose his apartment and car and wouldn't be able to buy groceries…i asked if he liked the job he'd lost…no, he hated it - despised it - but it paid the bills…i got you there, i said.  and with all the snow outside - i got you…my brother's lucky to live in Florida, he said…Florida? but do you realize what a great opportunity you now have? i asked.  You can go live in a city with no snow, stay with your brother for a time, until you get on your feet, work at a hateful job there if you have to, but in no snow…yeah, he said, you're right.  i shoulda done that last year when he asked me to come down
he was happy when we hung up, and the cop that responded saw he was no actual threat to himself…they chatted a bit, and as far as i know, he made it to his brother's in florida.
i stayed through the winter.  at my hateful job.  and spring.  and summer.  because i had a townhouse and a car and groceries.
what was my worst case scenario…fear kept me there…and that's why i have such a deep gratitude for the circumstance that pushes me out…fear hides under my left arm and creeps up to whisper in my ear…circumstance replies That may be true, but there are no choices left.
given the choice between fear and circumstance…I'd wish for better choices…then remember that i do have them.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

it is a trip through the knothole…but the squeeze is good…helping me to sweat out the no-longer-needed, or shoulda-never-had things…ideas, feelings, things.  and in the space that's been left, there's been time for reflection and a clearer sightline…a different horizon…better peripheral vision.  and i feel my compassion growing…and my Understanding growing.  i look at the emotions I am experiencing and hold them to the light like a delicate prism, reflecting them back - wondering if i was ever in a position to help someone feeling this or that, and did nothing, or didn't notice?  was i too wrapped up in my daily drama to notice someone who was breaking?  i think, i'm not proud to say, that i have.  waltzed by - unintentionally - when i coulda shoulda said Come With Me! or There's Room At The Table!  i sat home tonight.  alone.  and although it was to try to head off a cold and get some rest, at some point i realized it was SaTuRdAy night, and all the high school bunk came back to tell a heart and head that if you're home on a saturday night - you are a LOSER.  and if i added a line here to tell you that i did have an offer to meet a friend for drinks and a band, then it would sound, well, high school.
but my whole point here is that these past years, while i've been busy patting myself on the back for being such a nice person, i really could've been paying better attention.  In the church i used to go to, there was a saying that someone was "too heavenly bound to be any earthly good."  in other words they were so busy quoting the Bible at any pin drop, or doing visible Good Works, that they didn't notice the person next to them in need.  i have to wonder what in the world is more important than a friend in need?  whether it's that silent-screaming-hands-wringing life-changing need, or just a deep loneliness need, or even a try-my-cupcakes need.  What could possibly be more important than the ones God has given us to watch and hold under our wing?  Because i believe that we are each Gifted the people in our lives, and have a responsibility to them. the trick is knowing who they are, and when to say yes, and when to say no, and when to simply stay silent.  I've sent my apologies where i've been shown that i dropped the ball, and i promise you an open table to come eat if you're hungry, or just want to hang out with another human.  my tv habits, though minimal, tend to swing lowbrow, so i will give you that warning.  and i will ask of you this one thing:  my mind is like a forest filled with monkeys swinging from trees, and subtleties are very often lost on me…if you need a human to hang with, and you think i'd be that human, please call and ask straight out…just say "I need a human to hang out with, and every other one on the planet is busy, so could I be stuck with you?"  or something similar.  if i have other plans, i will likely include you, so don't be offended or surprised if you're included in something weird, and end up with a tattoo.  nah, most likely i'll be home with popcorn, Henry, and The Real Housewives.  i warned you.

(PS- I've been asked why i don't post more pictures -mostly, more pictures of Henry.  The answer is that Blogger and my email do not get along.  my pictures are in my phone, and blogger hates my phone.  so it is an exercise in near fatal futility to post them.  someday, with Xanax, I will catch you up on the Henster.  he is cuter.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

it was a difficult morning.  the weather seemed to sense the mood and began a drizzly sleet that cut into faces and made the general mood of the entire city....miserable.  I sat in a 9th floor office beginning the ending of my marriage.  it was a difficult morning.  the first of a few more to follow.  not to make more of it than it was...not to compare it to Actual Feats Of Courage and Misery...but i felt like i needed to take a deep breath and move forward into a major medical procedure...how my sister(s) must have felt when she was to begin having a nasty drip of toxins start running her veins to kill the killer in her breast and body.  no, not the courage needed for that journey - that's Real Courage.  but i wanted to put my arms out across the door frame and not have to go into the room, like giving a cat a bath.  and then i got an email from a Tejas tootsie that gave me a heartbeat back, and a text from my sister wife that helped my lungs take in breath.  and my HeadReel changed from" I can't i can't i can't" to "bring it bring it bring it."  And i looked out the window at the exact minute that the skyscraper clock flashed 11:11 in giant red numbers.  so cool.
 This will be difficult... I think there will be times when i will feel every type of pain and rage in my life...i assure you i am way down on that list, already.  And am grateful for my job...a reason...a purpose...a distraction.  and i am grateful for the prayers and good thoughts you've sent me.  it's very strange to be on the receiving end.  but i thank you.
and now - to work...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

i went into this sideways…this studio purge today.  After meeting a friend for brunch, i took a 3 hour nap…the exhaustion of pushing back against a bully finally getting me to lay down and rest.  i felt i had a deadline to meet with this purge, as a fellow artist is coming here tomorrow to cart off the remnants and un-fittable pieces and bits.  one thing i pulled down - a bag filled with cards and notes and scraps of things sent and given to me.  a gift bag that i'd filled with the gift of love.  a few of the notes were from women friends who have passed, and many from friends who no longer keep in touch by mail or email, but by the heart.  and i realized how years and years ago i wished them well, but with some - a tinge of jealousy scorched the edges of my love for them.  and jealousy and love cannot co-exist…no wonder why the heartstrings frayed and burned. so much clarity in that bag.  so much love.  so much howling from my heart…missing some…missing most…missing them all for each their own reason.  i long to gather them in the flesh, to dance around a huge bonfire…to say yes yes yes to each one, and to say I'm Sorry to some, though they may not know why.

tonight i found a container of porcupine quills. this amidst a steady stream of porcupine imagery coming to me the past few weeks….

"It's important for you to move along at your own pace rather than hurrying because of pressure from others or external circumstances.
There's no need to worry, because you're well protected…so relax and enjoy whatever you're doing.
Trust that you will be respected as long as you respect others.
Know that you have magical abilities as long as you maintain faith in yourself."

-Animal Spirit Guides

yeah, like that.
I sent out an email or two to friends whose ties have shredded a bit, honoring them and the place they've held in my heart…inviting them to go deeper if they wish, or remain remembrances.  either way is a good place…to have known these amazing women as closely as i have - that's been mind-blowing enough.  i'm proud to say i've walked beside them.  and perhaps they have needed the invitation…perhaps i am not the only one walking a precious and precarious path right now.

so i invite you in to my heart…to walk together, you and i…to hold a place of honor and respect and joyfulness and dancing around a bonfire together.  perhaps by the seashore, perhaps in the piney woods…..

Friday, March 13, 2015

whew!  Blogger let me in to my own blog!

Lately I've been designing designing designing…closet doors that look downright Moorish...
cubbies and closets and storage and all manner of creating space for stuff…to maybe fit into a Small area…just sayin'…

not necessarily a Tiny area, but mos def a Small one.  And as I make space for Stuff, I'm making Space.  re-clearing the clutter that seems to accumulate around my feet and sticks in my toes…the day to day stuff-and-junk that threatens to weigh my feet down.  i have created a Promise…a ritual, i guess you'd say.  each morning before i open my eyes, before Henry rolls on his back for a belly rub, i ask to go through the day with Grace and Dignity, and to hear the voice of God loudly and to follow the right steps for the day.  that is my prayer.  and i say "loudly" because i need to hear it loud - subtlety is lost on me.  you may know that from knowing me.  if you need me to do something, or have a request, hints are lost on me.  just say it.
these are days when i'm re-finding my worth, and wondering if I am enough for myself?  do i need to be more - is it time to stretch, or stay put?  a number of things have put that question before me - watching the youngers surpass…is it finally my time to stop cleaning up everyone else's circus and get busy planting my garden?  i think so.  what am i willing to hold onto in order to fly light enough to achieve what i want?  what am i willing to let go of has been answered…as i purge and re-purge my current space…art supplies again being packed up to go to new homes, clothing being dropped at the Thrifty in great bundles.  now to lighten up the personal weight…the head…the heart…the hips.  in that order.  redefining priorities.  making room for them and nothing else…no have-to's.  too late in life for that.  
Henry is just about crazed at the idea of his Best Girl coming over to play, so time to wrap it up.

Be True To Yourself.

(sorry about the creepy woman in this video)

some kind of violin fascination lately...

Sunday, March 08, 2015

i’m restless. things are calling me away. my hair is being pulled by the stars again. –anais nin


I am.  feeling restless.  sitting on a mad bull in the shute…rope wrapped around my hand…arm up…waiting for the door to open and let the ride begin…it is my rodeo, but i am not the ringmaster.

Lola is staying with me for a few days.  she is flouncy and cute.  henry loved her.  for a moment.  then when bedtime came…"wait - whaaaat??"  but he's been so good.  they curl together - Hen making sure Lola doesn't get closer to me than he does.  i was nearly knocked out of my own bed last night.  good to have company.

friday night:

gets me every time.  Thank you Judi.

Counting moments till I'm Kimward bound!!  With a side order of Other??

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

then this email came...

Linda, honey, you're totally hot right now. Please don't wait a few years to give yourself permission to see who you are and love every second of it.

You're supernatural, totally amazing, with a graceful swagger, healing touch, and a mesmeric, melodious voice. YOU were the Universe's first choice "who to be next," all those years ago, and that choice is still alive and well.

Happy March, Hottie!

At the most best possible moment.  i got this.  hummmmming.

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.