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.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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

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

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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

while you were sleeping...

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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

Sunday, November 16, 2014

the Go To

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

post #2 - a Tiny quote

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday, November 09, 2014

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

Sunday, November 02, 2014

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

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Fall...fallow? Nah

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

Friday, October 31, 2014

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Light

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 24, 2014

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

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

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



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

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

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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014


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


Friday, October 17, 2014

Best Day Ever! Again!

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

Thursday, October 16, 2014

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

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




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

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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

today

today was a perfect day … I had a million errands to run and got all but 1 done.  whew.  the weather was peak perfect for this time of year…in no order (obvs) i snuggled in with Hen on the couch this morning and we agreed to open our eyes very very slowly and let sleep drag into the first moments of the day, and then stretch stretch stretch…good coffee awaited me, and a squirrel to torment out back was Henry's wakeup.  a trip to the studio, and to visit dearests, then home to pack supplies for Lucky Star.  i decided to ship my paints ahead, so as to avoid arrest at the airport :)  Also, i'll now be able to have just a carryon, and won't have to wait thru the baggage line.  the packing ahead is tricky…trying to cram everything into one of those "if it fits it ships" boxes.  oy.  it's like trying to get into my jeans!  plus the guy on duty at our PO said I'd have to pack the box, then bring it in to be weighed.  HUH??? it says right on the box "any weight."  but i knew i'd get nowhere with him, so i just said okay and will go back on monday when Giselle is there.  plus she speaks french to me (or swears.  how would i know?)
so now to get some heating pads on my feet which are having themselves a fibro flare and not at all perfect.  maybe a glass or 2 of wine will help.  too bad i don't drink.
good and perfect evening to you!

Friday, October 10, 2014

never enough

I know a person who's entire outlook is fueled and colored by feeling that he is getting ripped off by life - that he doesn't have enough…that he must hoard possessions and demand that things go his way so that he will feel that he has gained something…added something…won something.  he gives his heart only when there is an assurance that he will get. it's sad to see and difficult to be around.  conversely, i know 2 women who gives so freely of everything…possessions, sincere & encompassing smiles,  hearts, light.  they are people that others crave to be around. they each have more than they could ever need because as they give, it blesses those receivers so darn much that they want to reciprocate.  their legacy is one of strong daylight, filtered through love.
Thank you Penny.  Thank you Charlotte.  your influence is my treasure.  may i pass it on with half the grace that you have shown me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

heads up that this blog may disappear - blogger is doing some bizarre things and making me link google accounts and asking for some very private info.  it took 10 minutes of wrangling to get here, and I hope it will post.  if you want to continue to read this blog if i change sites, please email me or post a comment, and i will be sure to update you if that happens.

Anyway - i came back here tonight to delete my previous post.  i mean - what was i thinking?  who knows?  a crappy-ish morning…maybe the eclipse…who knows.  but i remain ever hopeful in Tiny and me.  and now, for your listening pleasure….



(a big chunk of this post was deleted because it was just Too Crabby)
...I have spent too much time being a slave to my art supplies and studio space. i have too much "in case I feel like making with this" and Know with certainty that the very minute i decide to get rid of my jewelry making supplies, i will have a deep need to make jewelry.  but i have to pick, if i am to be light and travel worthy.  so today's Tiny Step will be to hone in on what i Love, and what I do even if i don't LOVE it, and what i don't love but keep anyway.  i think that's a week's worth of Tiny Steps!
be tiny, my friends... and in the tiny, you will find space for the perfect.

my friend Kim (WHO HAS A BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK) sent me a fantastic video, and i don't think she'd mind me sharing it with you, because it's just so true…

Monday, October 06, 2014

i've been working hard at remaining sunshiney…it's been so so easy these past months - since the Tiny Step Initiative was born.  and i must say it feels good to not propagate ugly…i've always been the type of person who needs to incessantly "talk it out" when something tilts my world, but lately that practice doesn't seem to serve a purpose in my life anymore.  yes - i do need to vent, and i try to vent to Henry only.  sometimes it just needs a human ear, though.  and i apologize if that ear was yours, but know that i am grateful grateful grateful for your understanding.  it feels so much better to share a smile rather than  a nasty bit.  and although yesterday was a screeching plan crash of a day, the evening was wonderful, and the part in between with Shimmer and the tennis ball - that was so good.  cold, but good.  Thank you both for letting me stand by the warmth of your friendship.  now, to try to finish up a Very Special Birthday present, which isn't looking like an on-time present, much to my dismay…..
wishing you enough tennis balls and a Shimmer to chase them till you're both exhausted.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Maybe it's the crispy night, or maybe the cuddly quilt tucked in around me, but either way I'm feeling content in a way I haven't for many years...feeling powerful and satisfied.  Not "powerful " in a ready-for-a-fight way, or chip on the shoulder way. More like an I Can Do This way.  Over the summer, I've learned some amazing lessons, and made friends with the monsters under my bed.  We have a healthy respect for one another - I allow them to stay as working guests...not as the Big Bads roaming as they please. They will remain to kindly tap my shoulder when there is something I need to  perhaps take a closer look at.  They will not be allowed to screech and grawk and enclose me in fear.  They have been reduced to cuddly little gremlins. I have re-learned, these past few months, that I Am Able.  That I may not know how to do something, but am damn skippy able to figure it out/ask for help/find someone to do it.  I most enjoy doing it myself.  I'm feeling a Pioneer spirit, and am impatient to get rolling with it.  I feel like I've been asleep for a very long while, and am re-learning myself.  One thing I'm adding to my Tiny Steps is this...because it has to be...I am adding a weight loss goal.  When I realized I was spending $450/month on smoking, I knew it was time to quit.  So I did.  And promptly gained 60 pounds.  Yes.  So my weight loss goal is not a vanity thing. I simply cannot move about in this world as I would like.  I actually feel less healthy as a non-smoker because of this.  Smoking changes your metabolism.  So, yes, quitting was good, but now it's time to change the after effects.  I want to be able to snowshoe and xc ski and simply walk a flight of stairs properly. I want to see outwardly what I feel inwardly.  So the walking plan will begin again.  To start.  It has been a night of reflecting back, feeling satisfied and wonderful with all that's been accomplished, and planning for forward movement, one Tiny Step at a time.

PS

todays mantra… "A PATH APPEARS"

saturday


a perfect day…the wind and rain overnight moved the leaves from my patio to the fenceline, saving me hours worth of work…i slept in moments last night, my brain busy with thoughts it wouldn't reveal to me…my ears caught the sound of rain smattering on the windows, and i wished i could open the window to let the breezes through.  this morning, Henry clouded himself up in the comforter and snuggled in close.  i have a white down comforter, and he manages to walk in circles enough to make a nest of it with high sides, and a Henry in the middle like a small caramel drop.  not much of a morning dog, preferring to pace about at night looking for bugs to play with or sneaky sneak mama's socks out to play.  
Once the coffee brewed, deliciously strong and fragrant, i began a pot of 15 Bean Soup.  it's that kind of day.  my fall and winter routines beginning to dust themselves off…nag champa burning in the house, my pink beaded slippers re-found, my cozy comfy periwinkle fluffy robe traded for the pink waffle weave.  this year i have the Tiny Step Initiative to keep me from going under, i suspect.  a plan, a purpose, action & movement towards a goal.  i won't give darkness a moment to get a foothold.  it really is a lot of shimmer here, in a way that almost seems surreal…in a way that makes me wonder, "ah, so this is normal."  moving forward, and not stuck in the dark muck of an unrealized dream.  reaching past myself and pushing myself past my limits - or so it seems! 
Grateful for gratitude - for being able to see the light in everything…grateful for feeling healthy, and for continuing to push myself past some physical thresholds.  stretching in so many different ways.  and now - to load the car with canvas, and paints, and tables, and off to the studio.
wishing you a cozy day with a good book and some sweet cupcakes!  Shimmer, my friend, shimmer!

"The canvas, which is to say the unconscious, considers [the painter's] first stroke, and then it tells the painter's hand how to respond to it - with a shape of a certain color and texture at that point there. And then, if all is going well, the canvas ponders this addition and comes up with further recommendations. The canvas becomes a Ouija board."
- Kurt Vonnegut

Friday, October 03, 2014

PS

I cannot express how perfect a day it is...the breeze...the leaves...the scent of fall...smiling so big....hmmm maybe a campout tonight?
Todays Tiny Step was to sit down with graph paper and a pencil (with a good eraser!) and start boxing in my plan for where i want a bathroom and a kitchen and a sleeping loft, etc.  Yesterday I started a Tiny list of things I wasn't willing to give up or downsize, so I know what I need to make space for and trade for, rather than building a Tiny and trying to squish everything important in.  I am so so lucky, and very grateful for those who blazed the trail so far…i can borrow from one idea and add to it or subtract from it or move things around like Colorforms (remember them?) it's easier when others have done the trial-and-error and the I Didn't Think About That's ahead of time.  For the most part, anyway.  I'm reading Big Tiny on my nook and am enjoying it a lot…just a few swipes in, and already a few ah-ha's.  i'm a little frustrated by what seems like a stall in the action, but know that the timing is not in my hands, and it will be Perfect.  I would love to do some Pioneer Girl workshops, and am kanoodling some things and percolating some others…soon to be revealed!  Meanwhile, I'm loving my job, and hope it's reciprocal…so far, my key still works in the door!  A slow start to the day while I waited on my hands, but now it's time to roar…wishing you a crispy fall day with the piney smells of the season!  Henry says "I is a leaf."


and I believe…
go Trish go!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

this is what i meant...

from April at aatinyhouse

* Every object you own is a relationship: I have mentioned before that getting rid of almost everything I owned gave me a new appreciation for the trulymeta – as in beyond – physical value of some possessions; some objects are not the same in memory as in your hand. Not because the object is the memory, but because the object informs the memory. You need some things. You miss some things. Yet, what’s wonderful about life in the tiny is you do really get to know your “things.” You have to consider the use value, emotional or physical, for everything you own. That awareness begins to infiltrate seemingly insignificant daily decisions.  At the end of the week, you only have a quart’s worth of garbage (that’s nice). This tiny life brings a subtly massive reorientation of perspective; small moves add up, though some objects become worth their thingy-ness because they feed what is beyond the immediate – what is a relationship between you, your possessions, and the lives beyond and before them. Tiny living means owning less stuff, but the stuff you own begins to mean more than possession.

lest you thought i forgot you, or was slowing down on the Tiny Step Initiative…nope.  just trying to fit everything in to the time before work AND make sure Henry has his energy diffused or DEfused!  so it's been tiny half-steps…mostly i've been bringing Hen's BFF over in the morning so they can run and tussle out back together.  They need watching to make certain no one ends up at the vet.  Henry has perfect camo in the leaves...





 i've been organizing my art supplies for the switchover, and have to admit it's a bit overwhelming.  so that's been moving slowly…but moving.  i've been weirdly tired…almost falling asleep at work, and hope it's just the season's changing, or perhaps a touch of a cold.  Sunday's kayak adventure still replays in my mind, with the sweet, calming smell of balsam coming back to remind me of a perfect day.  no time to drop off paints today, but definitely tomorrow.  deciding on the shelves.  i know - i'm boring you.  told you i was weirdly tired.  okay, lunch and to work…meet you back here tomorrow or maybe later!

Monday, September 29, 2014

in my inbox, and Power Tools

"Linda, if you know what you want; if you've made up your mind; if you can see it, feel it, and move toward it in some small way every single day…it has to happen. xxxooo  Linda, move toward it in some small way every single day."
from TUT
Someone's been looking in my window :)
Now, I know that every single person that subscribes to TUT got the same sentiment, but does that lessen it's power…it's meaning…it's downright thunk-in-the-heart assurance?  things are what we make them…a feather found is just a feather found, unless we imbue it with power.  every single thing in our lives - yes, and people too - only have the power we give them.  take money, for example - there are many women who do not have access to the family money…their husband/boyfriend/trust manager keeps a lock on it, and they must ask for every nickel.  in that case, money can be given power.  for a woman who has unlimited access to money, it can be a tool to purchase, or to help or to just move about the day.  so every thing in our lives, or our lives wished for, can only have the power we give it…people, places, animals, thing, rock, paper, scissors - oh, sorry.  that includes emotions….anger directed at us can only wound as deep as we let it…likewise love or peacefulness.  WE are the ones who give the power to the thing.  i wanted to clean my Perfect Stepdaughter's room a while back when she actually lived here, but i knew there may be things in there that looked like junk to (even) me, but were special to her.  sure enough…some lint that was on her dresser belonged to a very special blanket from a very special 4-legged who was gone.  i am SO SO glad i didn't scoop it away.  that lint held power for her.
so my life has been held at bay while i stood in the center of indecision and clutter.  i stepped out at the 12-o'clock position of the circle, made everything line up as it may, and have dealt with each and every thing as it was presented next in line…small steps…or Tiny Steps…one day it may be to look at land, the next day to clear clutter from a closet, and the next day spend time in the woods working out an emotional attachment to a thing or clear something from my core that i no longer want there.  we drag this shit around like a woobie blanket…we are no longer our 7th grade selves.  and most importantly - We control the power these things have, and the power we allow them to have.
My studio has been a source of cement for some time - it has kept my feet stuck in the same spot for many many years.  why?  because my studio is larger than any Tiny House I might design or live in.  so even before the Tiny House idea, i couldn't imagine finding a place i could afford that would allow for the space i needed for all this Stuff.  so it grew moss on me.  well, time to get my life on, and i am keeping the Stuff that is irreplaceable, or very expensive to replace IF i actually use it, and aside from the basics…out.  plus, i found and rented a studio space, so now my art supplies can have their own Tiny House, and I have a place to hold workshops for money!  winner winner chicken dinner!
i have some amazing Kayaking and fall foliage stories to tell you, but now it's time to play with my favorite thing: Henry!
You got the POWER, baby!


and just for fun…