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.


Sunday, December 31, 2006


so, a lot of time was spent in the fall thinking about time. as i hit my 49th birthday, i wonder : who am i? i remember when i was a kid, anyone older than 16 was old! 30 was really old. 40 was, well, really really old. at 50, you were someone's grandmother. you became invisible. you didn't really pay attention to those older folks in the shopping centers (believe it or not, there were no malls back then). they were just old people. doddering. foolish. old-fashioned. guess what? i'm almost there. and i don't FEEL doddering or foolish. true, my knees and hands aren't what they used to be. true, i sometimes forget the point of my sentences. true, i've heard myself start sentences with, "when i was your age..." but that doesn't make me an old person. does it? not like when i was young. and i fear becoming invisible. outdated. obsolete. i've seen communication go from 5-cent phone booths (yes- phone booths), to 10-cents to 25-cents and now 50-cents. not that anyone uses them. then bag phones, 25-pound mobile phones. now, everyone has a Star Trek-like device jammed in their ear so they can walk along (hopefully) talking to whomever on the other end. just what is so urgent that it has to be discussed 24/7? i remember having to wait till the "cheap time" to make long distance calls. now, any night or weekend will do, or any time of day if you're on the same network. home computers, microwaves, and *gasp* color TV all came into being in my lifetime. remember rabbit ears? so, a part of me feels very very old. but a part of me feels the same as i did when i was in my 20's and matching my legwarmers to my outfit du jour. i feel the same, but different. life is more precious to me, but not so serious. the drama of it all is past. i've learned that taking chances in life won't necessarily kill you. there is no right or wrong path to take. just don't stand still. take the path and make the best of the walk. it may be an uphill climb, but isn't the view the best from the top? it may be an easy paved path. don't we all wish for that? but anyway, to the meat of the matter. who am i? i don't need to spend a lot of time on that one, but it's interesting to watch how different people react differently to me. i guess it depends on when they met me in my life, or how they wish i was (as opposed to how i am). or maybe it's the situation they see me in most. for instance, the people at my job know me only in that environment. when i say something that doesn't "gel" with their perception of me, it's kind of fun to see the look on their face. my husband met me when i was taking a break from my art and recharging. i was in my badass phase - working at 911 and trying to keep a shell around my heart to protect myself from the horror of the job. art would crack that shell too much. so for him, this "art thing" is new. a phase. a hobby. hard for him to take me seriously as an artist. i understand it, but am frustrated by it. and sad that he is missing out on me. my artists friends are probably the ones who see the real me. i am constantly amazed when i look in the mirror. i have a mental picture of how i look on the inside - sort of a Stevie Nicks-ish spiritual type of look. ah yes - like the "artsy old ladies" with all the layers of Bluefish clothing. back to the old thing! last year, i cut my elbow-length hair short short short. like, can't even comb it short. i was working in radio and getting up at 3am. 2 of my 3 dogs were very old, and very high-maintenance. the hair had to go. i miss it now that my life has gotten simpler. but it's hair. just hair. i feel like a tall, thin, elegant woman. in fact, outside, i am short, a few extra pounds proceed me, and as far as elegant....well, not always. rarely. so should i become more the inside me? does it matter? i wonder if people would react differently to me if i dressed and acted more like the inside person. i'm comfortable with each role i must play - the work person, the art person, the friend in need, the friend who's there for you, the stepmother, the daughter, and yes, the wife. (although i admit, that's still a puzzle to me). so as the new year starts for the world, and also for me in my 49th year, i'll have to do some more thinking about identity and roles and what is genuine. prosperity and peace to y'all this year....and save the date - i'm having a surprise party for myself on my 50th! shhh! L.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

do you see what i see? happy holidays

last year, right around this time, i spied 4 little black eyes staring up into the heavens side-by-side. catching snowflakes on their little noses. it was one of those "moments."


art, to me, is every warm summer sun on your back after spending an hour in the pool playing mermaid with your best-friend-for-life...it's every first taste of panda paws ice cream with chocolate syrup....it's every warm furry four-legged body curled against you on a cold winter night, sighing, and holding your pinky finger with a paw.....it's the crunch of autumn leaves on the path through the woods - slight hickory smoke smells in the air, a surprise of warmth that late in the year. that's art to me. it's more than creating cool stuff. it's a birth of myself, over and over again. it's a primal urge that cannot be denied. perhaps surpressed for a time, but cannot be eradicated. it's as much a part of me as brown (ish) hair. when i'm in the zone, it's as much a rush as that first cigarette of the day, or too much coffee. the end result comes as much of physical deflation as an emotional moment. it's like a symphony being created. the slow quiet flutes and oboes giving way to the full monty brass section and percussion as the pieces to the puzzle become clear in my mind - this wire goes here, that fiber goes there - and my hands place and twist and glue, till the finale. there's almost a depression that follows, a let down when the piece is finished. like birth. the labor sweat gives way to tired fulfillment. as my time to create has been all but taken, i find it painful to even look in my studio. to want something so out of reach. unrequited love. i dare not to even think in color. this isa time that is calling me to find balance. it feels like this is my lesson to learn. balance in every area of my life - balancing time, balancing emotion. as hormones ebb and flow and rage and soften, i must learn to balance what i allow to tarry in my thoughts. as my time becomes stretched so thin, i must learn to parcel out the sections and pieces so precious. this will force me to pick at and examine each thing that comes my way - is this important enough for me to spend time on? if so, what will have to wait? so i accept the challenge, reluctantly, and hope it will make me a better person...both to myself and to those i love. and the art that awaits my hand and the symphony. L.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet... the next time sunrise steals your breath, or a meadow leaves you speechless, remain that way. say nothing. and listen as heaven whispers, "do you like it? i did it just for you." max lucado

Sunday, December 17, 2006

o christmas tree

so we finally got a christmas tree today. we strung the lights and some red and gold beads and decided to leave the box of decorations out and put a few on every time we pass by. no one seems to have the heart for it this year, partly because of the weather i think. all i can think of is the holiday picture. every year since we moved here, i'd make jenny take a picture in front of the tree with Bear. Kita would be next - by himself, the ham - and forget about Nikki....she's as good as amish around the camera. this year, no picture to take. it's seems even more emptier here. last night i bought nikki a white teddy bear at the dollar store...long legs and not much stuffing. she drags that darn thing around like a woobie, and uses it for a pillow. she's seemed lonely a lot lately too. last year Nikita thought we'd gotten him indoor plumbing for christmas, and peed on the tree. you just had to laugh about it. i sure miss him. it's funny how this one holiday brings out the lonelies in people like no other. why is that? maybe because of all the hype and hustle & bustle attached to it. although i love getting presents, it's my least favorite holiday. i need quieter spaces. i am truly looking forward to january though! we're headed to florida for 5 days, then i come home alone and have 5 days off BY MYSELF! i hope to make good art. i'm also hoping to quit smoking during the 5 days gone, so cross your fingers for me. on top of having 4 friends with cancer (2 terminal), a friend of bill's was just told that lump on his neck is stage 4 cancer and has also spread to his tongue. even though there's not much hope (in the doc's view) they plan to start chemo & cutting. i guess that part scared me. imagine having your tongue cut away - you couldn't talk or eat well, etc. those 2 things are what i do best. seriously. so bill and i are both going to try to quit....should be a banner vacation! well, fatigue is starting to creep in, and nyquil is calling, so i'll try to think of some deep thoughts for next time! don't forget the $25 donation-to-the-CNYSPCA-challenge....have ya sent your check? if you don't have anyone to send it in remembrance of, send it in memory of my Bear - he came to Bill from the shelter, and we'll mss him under our tree this year. L.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


i frazzled, exhausted and covered in dog vomit. nice picture, eh? try BEING it! didn't get home till after 8pm 'cause the cash drawer wouldn't total again. the girl who's supposed to train me on this refused to help. said she had too much work of her own and wouuld be there late as it was. and i should know how to do it by now. add all that aggravation to a day from hell hell hell, and you got the makings of a meltdown. sleep. but wait! there's more! vomit vomit vomit. poor girlie. so, up at 8am, laundry, floor scrubbing etc. of all people, my mom pointed out that i hadn't begged God for THIS job....i was asking for A job, and only because it was being required of me. so i shouldn't feel like a brat if i hate this job. and i do. hate it. and i have to go get ready for it now, so bye! Linda

Sunday, December 10, 2006

dear diary

dear diary, am i a bitch? am i unappreciative? self-centered? please tell me the truth - i can take it - maybe. it's just that lately i wonder. i prayed for a man who was handsome, single, hetero, made good money and actually loved me back. a month later - there was Bill. now all i do is whine and bitch about life as i know it. i begged and wept and prayed for a job away from 911 that paid well. and 2 months later - there was GHI. so after 3 years, i needed a job away from GHI, and there was MetroNetwork - back in the radio thing i do so well at. then, as summer wore on, i reluctantly prayed for a job that was close to home, with nice coworkers, was interesting, and paid more than $7 an hour. so here i am at my current job. about to start my 4th week, and already crying about IT. i have to wonder if i am unappreciative. i think the answer is no. i think the problem is, is that love and art keep intruding on reality. i have had the most blessed, fabulous fall - taking long, healing walks with my little girl, bonding and becoming centered. art has welled up from me in new and amazing ways that make me stunned when i see my work on someone's wall or desk. "I did that?!" having gone from 24/7 free time to having next to none has been a very difficult transition. both for me, and little dog. she is lonesome for me, and daily spends time by the back door howling her little wolf heart out. when i am home, i'm too pooped to be much of a mom. she holds her toy and looks hopefully at me then just lets it slide to the floor. having just spent time regretting the things i didn't do with Nikita, and walks we never took, this is so especially hard for me. i try to set aside time for myself. and time for art. and time for bill. and time for nikki. that leaves about 4 minutes each! and don't even talk about the laundry! i guess it's the opposite of unappreciative - i appreciate TOO MUCH the things that are important to me - the rare gifts i've been given in my soul, and feel that anything less than important, is not important enough to take my time away. but then again, there are bills to pay, so where is the line drawn? i would live lesser if it were just me. but i am joined to a household, and just as i would trade bigger for medium or small, the others would not. there cannot be 2 alphas in a sled team...2 visions for the ride. yes, there is common ground and give-and-take. but when there are 2 maps, and 2 ideas of final destinations, no amount of compromise will get you there. so you see my quandry. do i ease up and follow, or continue to pull and strain at the tether? each comes at a price. which am i willing to pay? L.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

life's hiway

i remember late summer, and on through fall....the days stretched out before me, endless, like a long hot hiway through a desert canyon. mountains ahead and to the side like giant guardians - striated red, green, taupe and brown. the roadway clear and broken only by occaisional adventure, like the dashed lines down the center lane. an occaisional bumpbump-rrrrrr onto a rumble strip, but free and easy, one hand on the wheel, hair blowing in the dry breeze through the open top of a convertable. summer songs mingling with current favorites - black horse and a cherry tree, norah jones, bruce cockburn, joss stone, and mmmmmm mmm - ella. soon a car appears - opposite direction. then another and soon more. a diner to the right. a run-down shack of a grocery on the left. soon 18-wheelers hiss and creak out from side roads and a traffic light appears. people wait to cross. languid, yet purposeful. a small snap to reality as a town crowds in on your bliss. fingers tap on the wheel waiting for the light to turn. you continue through. you don't belong here. the intrusion makes you impatient to get back on the empty road, back to your journey. onto the dark hiway, broken only by dashed lines. lit only by a sun setting melon and aubergine and mustard and cobalt all at once and each at it's own depth and pace. music lowered to hear crickets and howls of coyotes. the top up now as a head covering in this holy place. this singular space. alone with thoughts and the masterpiece of the sunset. "life is a hiway - i want to ride it all night long" L.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

sleeping giant

as my art time diminishes, my dream time has become more "creative." the ghoulies and ghosties that were normally expunged and swept away through fiber, metal, wood, paint are now trapped inside where they revel in nighttime salons. the sleeptime is no longer a haven for me - no color combinations revealing themselves to me ...no shapes to weld together, or answers to sticky problems presenting themselves shyly in the calm of the night. fears and randomness overtake my dreams. friends or aquaintences, long departed, have returned - along with my mandog, kita, to visit and torment. little girl dog wakes me if i disturb her too much with twisting and turning. sometimes she wakes me just to check. so my lack of invigorating, restful dreamtime is broken into jagged rips of time. the rest of the night is spent running up and down the stairs thinking she has to go out, mistaking her waking me for an urgency of her own. i have big plans for art time this weekend, and hope to report back placid sleep punctuated by paisley and magenta and my beloved colors of fall. i guess not everything sleeps in winter........L.

Friday, December 01, 2006


i was a little naughty today...i did end up calling in sick! i was actually very sick, and laid in bed all day reading/sleeping/reading. as the hours ticked by, i kept thinking, "yow! i'd still be at work!" and i'd be there still at this moment. it seems like the day is so much better spent in bed reading/sleeping/reading, but, oh well! i finished my current book, Rise And Shine by Anna Quindlan. i recommend it. i showered this morning, called in, then went back to bed. at first, i felt guilty, but then, simply naughty and wonderful! i mean, a lot of that was fueled by Nyquil, but it just seemed like, well, remember convincing your mother you were too sick to go to school? and you did feel aweful - till the bus left. then there was a world of possibilities. i just opted for the bed and book possibility. i still feel like death-sucking-on-a-biscuit, but tomorrow a vet appointment and wegmans are calling, so i'll suck it up and go out. the fact that i can pick and choose my level of contact with other humans makes a big difference. customer service is one forced "relationship" after another! am i having doubts about the job? well, if the hours don't change, maybe. i'm so much more of a morning person. even though it's nice to ease into the day, it's nicer to just go and get it over with. it seems like the 5-7pm hours drag by and are wasting my time and getting on my last nerve. so we'll see what becomes of things after the holidays. i truly miss cooking dinner with the wegmans menus. i miss having time at the end of the day to decompress and go for a walk, or even watch a little tv from the couch - not the bed! we'll see. maybe a lotto win will come my way! hoping to have some good thoughts tomorrow! L.


so the past few months, the idea of "time" has been on my mind alot. the IDEA is still on my mind, as i have none to myself! the week is all about work and sleep. period. the weekends are about catching up on the things i used to spread out over 7 days - or 30 days - or 60 days ....laundry, groceries, cleaning, etc. now i try to cram it all in to 1 day so i can have "a" day for me me me. this weekend i begged out of the company christmas party (hate those things intensely) in order to make a few christmas gifts, and some personal art. good plans often fail! i am sooo sick. it feels bronchitis-y. i don't dare call in sick to work because i've only been there 3 weeks, and that sure doesn't look good. but it's all i can do to crawl there every morning and get through the day. the pace goes from busy to fast and furious. and i still haven't gotten a good handle on how to do my job. so there's the running around with a box of Kleenex hanging around my neck, sneezing on people, trying to help them with Nyquil brain. i'm back on the Nyquil/Dayquil addiction. little dog has had diarhea too, and she's just pointed out an accident in my studio that she's particularly upset about creating. a part of me is so dragged out i feel like just leaving it there, then cutting away the rug! i'm still trying to figure out the calling in sick idea. this company is great, but they will take as much as you give. maybe another cup of coffee will help. **sneeze** oy. L.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

kick my butt

sorry i haven't posted in so long....believe me, i miss it. this job is just kickin' my behind in a big way. i've worked there going on 3 weeks and i have a urinary tract infection to beat the band AND a huge cold/sore throat thing. i'll whine here: i have no time for anything and i'm quite cross about that - even dreaming about art time. done whining. also done posting - i'm just too tired. L.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


we've got a new routine, little dog and I. every morning she wakes me up at 7:30am to go for a walk. these daily walks started in August - when it was warm. i needed the walk to clear my head, and she needed them to clear the puppy energy that persists well into her middle age. but now, it's cold, and the thought of bundling up and booting up and gloving up is just almost too much. my mom's in the hospital so i was up late last night on the phone and worrying. the 7:30 am walk was the last thing i wanted this morning, but dog's can't tell time. since she'll be alone all day again today - husband is out of town - i gloved and booted and bundled to go across the street so she could check her messages. wow! it was worth it. the sun was glinting off the frozen grass and bare tree limbs. a coating of shiny white frost was everywhere. sunbeams danced and reflected off rainbows made from the encased grass and leftover unraked leaves. a mist crossed the pond as we made our way across the footbridge. i wished for a camera, but knew the image was best saved in my heart. well, work calls, so it's warm warm shower time, then off to the salt mines. have a happy holiday tomorrow....make time for loved ones. L.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

the luxury of waste

the idea of time has been on my mind a lot lately....especially in the past week when it seems like i haven't had enough. Time. the passage of time. the changes that time brings. wasting time. what a luxury to have enough time to be able to waste it! i think back on the past few months when i've either been home by 9am, or not working at all, and think - what a gift. to have the whole day and evening ahead of me to use as i please. i'm sure there was some time in there that i wasted, as if i'd always have enough. i valued it, yet sometimes, i wasted it. doing nothing. doing unimportant things. napping. fussing about something. but feeling like i had enough time that if i spent a day accomplishing nothing, it would be okay - there was a day after that, and another to follow. and days rolled by. yes, i did create some amazing art during that time. and i suspected that a job would soon follow that would not be as conducive to wasted time as my lifestyle had been. but what a luxury. to have enough of anything that you can waste some of it. i have teeny tiny scraps of fabric that i refuse to throw out. i know i can never reproduce them, or find them to buy again. they have a high value to me and i guard them. only my most special projects, or most certain outcomes of projects, get a sliver of those fabrics in them. likewise, i suppose, is my time. do i spend it here or there? which activity, or non-activity, has the most value to me? which will hold few regrets if i use some precious time to do them? do i spend time cleaning or dyeing silk? (easy answer!) do i spend time fussing and arguing with my husband over something, or just bite the bullet and go on with my day? what holds value? what is the priority? arguing is probably the least productive, but like laundry in the hamper, the issues build up. then it becomes a priority. then the time becomes wasted as it intrudes on your "other" time - your "self" time. any time little dog needs a hug or a kiss, i drop everything and gladly indulge her. and myself. i've learned that time spent enjoying love - especially when it's wrapped in fur - is never wasted time. even if it means something else gets pushed aside. i think of my friend katie. she is out of time to waste. she must make every minute count now. she does not have the luxury of saying she'll do something tomorrow, because there may not be tomorrow for her. a valuable lesson for me. i don't feel as though i should be going going going like a madwoman every second, but i do feel like the important things that need my attention or warrant my attention, should get bumped up in the priority chain. i've learned throughout the past year that things change and time is impatient. there's a song that says something about learning tolive like you were dying. that's the advice i give myself. L.

Friday, November 17, 2006

welcome to the working week

there's a song by Elvis Costello called "Welcome to the Working Week." catchy tune by far. the verse goes: "welcome to the working week/ i know it don't thrill ya/ i hope it don't kill ya/ welcome to the working week/ ya gotta do it/ gotta do it/ so ya better get to it." well, it almost killed me! so this is how other people do it! this has been the loooongest week of my life. monday was long and tiring, but i had that adrenaline/new kid thing going. i could have been shoveling coals in Newcastle, but would have had that "new thing" eagerness. monday night - feet swollen and screaming. smoking 3 cigs at a time on the way home. didn't have the energy to eat dinner but felt i should since my husband cooked the wegmans recipe i left for him. tues. - almost cried in the shower. is it possible to be this tired and live? my little girldog was out of her natural mind. she doesn't understand why i keep leaving her all day. she's bored and scared. i went to bed at who knows when. wednesday - do i dare quit?? the people are nice. my feet are numb. i get 30 mins to throw down lunch and smoke and call whomever on my cellphone. but the lunchroom is nice and the coffee is free. have not left work at 7pm yet. the cash drawer is always off. I'm tempted to keep a roll of change in my purse and just throw in the missing dollar or whatever. just let me go home! went to bed at 9pm. thurs - got up at 7:30am and took little girldog for a walk. showered at my leisure and went to work. wondered when i would carve out a minute or 2 for art. that part is making me sad, but i had a good attitude about going to work since i wasn't feeling guilty about girldog. came home and decided my routine would be to go to bed at 9-9:30 and get up at 7-7:30 and walk her. it's really the only time i get to walk all day - mostly it's standing in 1 spot for 8 hours or moving within a 15-foot area. she's happy, i'm happy. friday went very well. everyone gets along well at work. it's not horrible. i'm actually starting to learn what it is i should know. despite my misgivings at 11am on monday. i even got a copy machine to work today! yippee! i will never take a saturday or sunday for granted EVER again. even if i win the lottery this weekend, which i'm praying i do. don't let me kid ya - i'm not cut out for the working world. so my friend katie is dying. she found out about 8 months ago that she has melanoma and was sent home to die. she is one of my Most Special People. she's been fine up until about a week ago. i don't want her to suffer - she's too good for that. she doesn't deserve that. but i also don't want her to die. i want to be able to call her up and say "KATIE JANE!" and she says "hey Linda Lou. How you doin'?" i've never heard Katie swear. not in all our years at 911. the closest she came was on a night when the 4-letter words were flying like goose poop and hell had unleashed itself upon the city....shootings, stabbings, fires...name it and there it was. she said "effin'" and i think "what the hell-o." nothing bothered her, at least not to where she'd take it out on someone else. even though that was allowed at 911. she cared deeply but took no shit. in her own southern-fried 5-foot tall-can't hear without her glasses-on way katie let you know how it would be. my stepkids were threatened with quotes from Kate - "don't make me beat your ba-hind," "i will beat you, and don't even think about callin' no police, cause hah-ney (honey with a southern accent) they gone see the name and they won't be comin' to help y'all." she has a way of saying "shoot" (as in - darn) that lasts forever. something like "shee-oooot" with the "e" and "o" sound all smushed up together. and everything ends in that "hah-ney" that defies spelling. If you meet Katie, you either love her or fear her. and if you fear her, you didn't take time to know her. and that would be your loss for sure. it's not likely she will live till Christmas - a holiday she never celebrated anyway, because she's a Jehovah Witness. it's unlikely i'll ever be able to tell her what she has meant to me. there aren't words. and even more unlikely that she'd ever let me finish telling her if i started. she's all like that. but no matter how hard, i will try. she never got a computer, or email, or callwaiting. so i can't hide behind a keyboard, or caller ID. remember the days? you'd have to actually talk to the person. or write a letter. when words meant more, i think, because they were thoughtfully constructed. not just flung out into the internet or cable with the click of a mouse. when you actually have to take time to find a piece of paper and a stamp, then you think a little harder about the contents of the envelope, i think. not that it's all about me, but this has been a year of losses. it has helped me focus on what i have, even if i don't HAVE it, and appreciate it more. like saturdays. and girldogs. and Katie. L.

Friday, November 10, 2006

a big Stepford wife howdy

it isn't often that i get this excited about anything to do with household chores, (in fact - never) but this is HUGE! i'd started feeling like a freeloader at my own house. depressed over the job propects not looming before me, and feeling the impatience emmanating from my husband, i decided to cook a really nice dinner. just to make nice. so i went to wegmans to find a good frozen dinner i could doctor up a little. or at least not burn. at the front of the store, they had a tasting area by the Menu magazine thing. a guy named dave (according to his name tag) said the asian bbq brisket was simple to make. it seemed like it, and he seemed sincere. all the ingrediants were helpfully grouped right there, so onward i went. it was incredible! i was a hero in my own home for a change! the kids actually LOOKED at me! so i went back the next day and found another recipe and - BAM! same thing! so, now i'm hooked. i made dinner for an entire week with no insult or injury! in fact, it may be a struggle to get the boy-child to go home to his mother for her week of his fabulous company. so i actually bought a menu magazine. now, the story shifts. i got a job! good. good. i'll be working 10:30am-7pm. bad bad. for now my culinary addiction will be curbed. so i decided i was not going to start eating frozen stuff again, or get home at 7:15 to find a table full of people staring at me waiting for my emeril impression. i went to the wegmans site and am soooo gone! i swear i'm not getting paid by them! you can actually make up your shopping list from their pull-down selections on the website, and when you print it out, the damn thing puts it all in order by aisle! holy smokes! PLUS - and this, my friends is huge- you can find a recipe, and click on it. it will print up the recipe AND you canadd the ingrediants to your shopping list! huge! PLUS - oh yes, there's more - plus, they have online video cooking lessons. i mean, i had no idea how to blanch vegetables. now i do. pan searing, you ask? oh yes. i have even gotten a fussy 17 year old to eat and like BOK CHOY. ya know, a part of me is reading this as i write it, and is wondering who put the Stepford pills in my coffee. i don't get it either. i would love Nella Meeks job...or is it mary ellen burris, now? and why do i know that?? i don't know. yes, i am a little worried, but i feel like i have some "kitchen cred" now. i guess, at least for a few weeks, i had a purpose and a place of importance in the household, and it was cool. instead of the wild-haired cigarette-smoking she devil in the bathrobe till noon (or later), i held the power - food! power through polenta! i will miss cooking during the week (who said that?!?!), and i will miss going for walks with my little darlin' every day.we had a small but regular life. walk, art time, dinner. things will change quite a bit in the next few days. it will be nice to be working again though. cross your fingers and say a little prayer for me as i head out to my new job monday morning. i feel like it's the first day in a new school! hey - maybe mary ellen burris will retire soon, and i can take over! could ya just...! so if my posts become somewhat sporadic, please be patient...i'm adjusting to my new schedule. and my new head. this cooking thing has me all sorts of turned around! L.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

by the way

i have had problems with posts not publishing - waiting waiting waiting for the little green segments to make their way across the bar at the bottom. so my apologies for the inconsistant postings. but my patience with technology is thin, so i end up just shutting the computer off and losing the post. so that's why it seems like days in between. L.

crispy and warm

i took little dog for a walk yesterday....the BIG walk. we'd been inside for a few days without one and she was getting ants in her pants. the leaves are mostly fallen - butternut and caramel colors scraping across our path whenever a light breeze danced past. crunching underfoot as we walked along. a few geese and ducks stayed behind this year, squawking out territories in the pond. some winter birds already house hunting in the bare branches - their 3-note warbles calling to friends returning from last year. the sun warmed my back as little dog slowly made her way along the familiar route. it's a long walk even at a regular walking pace - about 40 minutes or so. but to little dog, each leaf and hidden blade of grass holds a tale to be told, so i wait patiently at the other end of the leash as she sniffs through the piles of leaves looking for her messages. there's one spot in particular that must be the neighborhood bulletin board for dogs, and we could spend long minutes there while she "reads" each note. i didn't mind...it was a beautiful day. and probably one of only a few left. then the paths will rest under heavy blankets of snow. the craggy ice will trip up our progress and turn our ankles. i savored every sound, every smell of woodsmoke from leaf piles, every last treetop conversation. the world seems so much quieter wrapped in snow blankets. muffled. huddled. i guess it's that burst of exhuberant sound that makes spring so special - that makes you run outside for a long walk without your scarf and gloves and heaviest coat. and the smell. winter bundles up the earth's perfumes to save for spring. then, as the sun begins to strip away the buntings and cloaks from the ground, the essences begin again to fill your nostrils. remember when you were 16 - just got your permit or license. the first real spring day - didn't we all roll down the car windows and want to drive a million miles an hour? of course, we were all invincible then! but just the promise kept that yes, green and gold and yellow and red and purple would return again. friday is supposed to be sunny - i'm thinking - 1 last lake day! one more day mindful that it's almost nap time for our part of the world. i have a friend who lives here in summer, then in Australia for the winter. their seasons are opposite ours. i thought - how glorious is that! but she has tired of endless summers, and says she longs to feel the snap of the cold and breathe the snow freshened air. she moves from one garden that needs tending, to another that's ready to wake up and be tended. i'm not sure how long it would take me to tire of that, but i'll take her word for it. i guess. so enjoy your day - whether it be rainy or sunny today, damp and cold or relatively warm. there's still a little life left out there! L.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

patience and trust

well, my nails are bitten down to the finger for no good reason. i'm waiting rather inpatiently to hear word about a job i applied for. i thought i'd hear by friday or saturday. i called saturday, and lo and behold - they aren't open saturdays....surprise & bonus! i have to trust that if it's meant to be, no outside force can change that...not my begging God in the shower, not my promises to be good, to stop swearing (i know better than to promise to quit smoking). if it's not meant to be, then it's just not going to happen. and i should be grateful that i didn't end up in a job that looked like birthday cake on the outside but ended up moldy cheese on the inside. been there. done that. got the t-shirt. i hate actually WANTING the job i apply for - just for this reason! i truly do believe that all things work together for good when you are looking at God as the uber-controller. it's weird....i walked away from the church and so-called organized religion years ago. since that time, it seems that i have found more of a spirituality outside of the walls-and-pews than inside. i hate it when people try to shove their ideas at you, and make you doubt your own beliefs. i read the Bible - i know the important parts (the ending is better than anything Hollywood could come up with!). but walking through the woods on a crispy autumn day, or a warm summer evening....that's when i feel more churchy than when i was in church. when someone was standing in front of me telling me 8 ways i was a sinner and could never be good enough to please God. well, i actually think i do please Him from time to time, and i think He gets a kick outta some of the things i do, or predicaments i get into. feeling right, and centered, and comfortable with my beliefs about my beliefs was the single most empowering thing that's ever happened to me. which is strange, since when i walked away from the church, i felt like i'd always be ducking behind a post and hiding from God like a kid who forgot his homework. so although i really really want this job, i will have to be patient till Monday, and trust that the right decision was made - either way. i've never been good at patience, and trust is an iffy thing with me as well. so this entire exercise is one big lesson, i guess. i hope to pass. i hope to make it through without a heart attack. i hope to not end up begging like a spoiled, cranky kid in a grocery store for something that the parent knows is no good. i say "i hope to" because i know all too well that i can still be that tantrum-throwing gimme gimme brat- not out loud, but mentally. i'm feeling that it's time to go to work...it feels right. and i guess the anticipation is what's making me edgy...like when you waited to get the letter from school to find out who your homeroom teacher was going to be. anyway, till then, i promise i will try to be good. and not mope and whine. and not beg incessantly. and trust. and be patient. but i will not quit smoking. l.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

the smell of Dove

i've just spent part of last night and most of this morning (6am on) wet felting. last night as i did some dinner dishes, i squirted a little Dove for dishes on a plate, and realized how much i missed the feel of roving becoming felt. (i use Dove in the process.) Okay...the dish i was washing was actually from my dog's dinner. if you know me and my culinary abilities, you know that when my husband is out of town, it's pizza all the way. in fact last year on Halloween, my 1st trick-or-treaters were firemen. it was definately no treat. anyway, i laid out roving through the night, getting it just right, adding a little purple here, some brown, some red. i wanted to convey the feeling i had walking through my beloved fall woodspath. after many arduous hours spent elbow deep in cold, then hot soapy water, rolling and rolling and rolling the delicate fiber to make it strong and bonded, my efforts were rewarded. the fabric i created is tasty. i've left it outside to dry, hoping the smell of the woods, and my neighbors fireplace will lock into the fiber. my husband will be out of town for another night, so, i'm headed back to immerse my senses in the craft. felting is such an organic process....you can only tell the fiber what to do and hope it listens. it goes this way and that at will & whimsy sometimes, or so it seems. to think that you are recreating such an ancient art. to have actually "met" the sheep that provided it's wool to you is unexplainable. before i start, i ask my muse to help me, so as not to waste or disrespect what the sheep has provided. so different from metal. each fulfills a need within me to create, to express. the expression different with each medium. the music i play while creating with each, different. the story given by each piece created - different. so, back to it....hoping my floor dries before i'm found out, and that the wrinkles in my fingers fill in soon! L.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


it's funny....in spring, the first hints of green struggle to push through the white snow...first the snowdrops, then the blaze of daffodils, then as the sun begins to warm to the idea - green bursts through. buds pop open revealing unfurling leaves...tulips and lilys and hostas all vie for space in my garden. the irises, with their heavy heads, open for a short while, then bow under the weight of their beauty. soon gone, leaving a memory of brilliance and wonder. bees buzz, dragonflies languish casually on my roses, or fly curiously around my hummingbird feeder...their opalescent wings glinting blues and greens. then, as fall approaches, one last push for the ultimate sensory show - brillant reds and yellows and oranges light the treetops and my woodspath. crisp mornings and evenings bring a piney musky earthy smell to my nostrils as fallen leaves begin the cycle back to dust. it is during that change of the earth's cycle that i am the most energized and creative. sleep comes in short catnaps - i don't want to miss a moment....fall is too fast to pass. the winter comes too soon, bringing rest to nature after all this exhuberance. and rest comes to me as well...my art takes on a less frenzied pace. my materials of choice - softer. felt and fiber replace metal and wood and rust. following the earth's cycle. following the internal clock. we all have an internal clock...times when we are energized and "in the zone" and also times when the body says "rest." much can be learned during each of those times...the energetic times when the ideas flow like the melting ice down a waterfall. the quieter times when we reflect on what we've learned, what we've accomplished, what we hope to reach for next as we, like spring buds, push through the restful blanket that time has allowed and stretch and grow within ourselves. to the snowdrop, it's just doing what nature intended - what it was put here to do. no big mystery to the snowdrop that it follows the cycle that was programmed into it at it's creation. it just does it. for us, maybe a little more difficult. but is it? taking that time to rest and reflect....to listen to our hearts, souls, our instincts. yes, we have a few more responsibilities and choices and places to be than a snowdrop. but on a certain level, i do believe that each of us has an intended purpose here. we aren't just "another person on the planet." what that purpose is, sometimes is obvious, sometimes not. we can look at Mother Theresa's life and say well, of course. but it may be harder to see our purpose within ourselves. and maybe our individual purpose isn't quite as grandiose or public as hers. maybe we are just to be that reliable friend or son or daughter that can be counted on for a safe haven - a touchstone of quiet for a moment. a person that makes you feel better about yourself just by coming in contact with them. or maybe you are the motivator - the person who kicks others in the seat of the pants and gets them going to reach their next level of potential. or maybe your purpose is greatness. i think each of those characteristics is greatness. maybe not public greatness. but greatness all the same. for we need each other in ways we may not imagine or know. we need to "touch base" with that calm, happy person for a moments respite and to gauge ourselves against those quiet calm waters. we need that motivator to keep us from staying too long in that comfortable spot with no challenges and no growth. yes, we need the Mother Theresas in a global sense also, but as technology broadens our sense of what defines "our" world, we are still responsible for our little corner of it. i remember going to my first job interview - "just be yourself" was the advise. seems so simple and frustratingly inadequate. yet, by being ourselves, in the truest purest way we can, we are fulfilling our purpose. (i sometimes think that being myself may be a little scary for those around me! but we all know someone like that.). so go about your day, your lives mindfully. savor the smells, the tastes, the sights that are given to you freely from nature as she fulfills her potential. but also take a small winter here and there to reflect and wonder where is your path? when is your spring? your fall? your summer? each spring is a new spring...new leaves, new buds, new blooms. now, as the leaves are mostly brown and yellow, what will you prune and mulch so it will grow stronger and more brilliant in the spring? L.

Friday, October 27, 2006

the 7 seals

so you may wonder what i'm doing up at this ungodly hour typing. well let me tell you. the seven seals have been opened upon my life. remember your Bible? having spent enough years in a Pentecostal church with fire & brimstone hitting me between the eyes, it's difficult for me to forget. in fact, i still jump start awake some nights worried that i fell asleep praying before i said "in Jesus name, amen," because i was once incorrectly told that the devil could steal my prayers unless i said that. safe place safe place. in fact, i was incorrectly told so many things that it took years to sort out right from wrong from far right from left behind from - you get the picture. i finally figured that God would figure out a way to let me know where to go and how to get there. just like the preacher did every week. but kinder and quieter, and the destination of my train probably wouldn't always be hell. until tonight. anyway, at this late hour, with sleep deprivation making me ultra sensitive to the creaks in the house,and the obvious conspiracy in High Places, i am convinced that the apocolypse has been visited upon my personal life. it all started (well - this epiphany started) in motion at 9:30pm. exhausted from a day of fruitless creativity, i decided to get some early shuteye, wake up refreshed and ready to go around 5 or 6am. back up a second....earlier in the evening, i found the source of my little dog's distress and constant twitching - a flea - just one - and put that yukky smelly stuff on her. she's happy. flea's not. now, back to bed....the bedroom is north pole cold, so i turn the heat up to 63, knowing that the human furnance would be slipping in beside me at some point, and that 63 would be plenty. little dog snuggles in to my right, as usual. i start to doze. so far, so good. then husband comes to bed, and that's when it all starts. (not what you think - read on). the temperature skyrockets. it must be Africa in there, and, AND, now i feel *plink" itch "plink" itch. i am positive there must be an entire flea circus coming alive for their next performance. my husband's loud snores are providing just the right calliope music for their best show ever. i crave a snowcone and popcorn. i can't move my legs or the dog will wake suddenly and start barking at the big moving thing under the covers. plink - on my calf. plink on my cheek. plink in my hair. not my hair! i had a flea infestation at my old house once. i tried everything. the government finally came in and declared it worse than Love Canal. i may be eligible for "brown fund" money, now that i think about it. i kept remembering how bad those days were....going out on a date and feeling a flea crawl down my forehead in the movies. oh yeah - it was b-a-d. so, then my poison ivy chimes in. a whole symphony of really bad stuff. i was in no mood to count my blessings like sheep and soon you will just drift asleep. so i counted up everything that has gone awry in the past few months, and realized that the number totaled 7. not lucky 7. 7 as in horsemen with 7 scrolls with 7 seals that meant some bad shit came down. now, if you know me, you know i'm given to flights of fancy and wild imaginings and exaggerations. so i'm not too worried that you think that i think that there is truly an apocolyptic experience of Biblic proportions going on. i'm not quite ready to put the tinfoil over the windows. but you have to admit, some really consistant "stuff" has been going on in my life. poopy stuff. like, i think i got some of someone else's stuff on top of my stuff. so here's my rundown....if you can remember any other bad stuff that's happened to me recently, keep it to yourself, my friend. i've got enough on my mind. 1)closed my business because it was too hard to do with my other job.... 2)lost my job....3)can't find another one and am going broke faster than a mathmatically challenged blackjack player... 4)poison ivy... 5)fleas.... 6&7 Bear & Nikita, of course. they should actually be 1 & 2, but this isn't necessarily in any order of tragedy. so after poking my husband 55 times and telling him to TURN OVER and STOP SNORING, i remembered that he's off in Ambien land and really knows not, nor cares what is going on around him. so i get up. of course the flea circus-carrying poochie (a/k/a Big Top Pup Tent) follows and now decides she has to go out. maybe the fleas will freeze and die die die when she does, so i accomodate her. it was after i left the furnace room that i realized - there were no fleas plinking all over - it was a heat rash. a damn heat rash. amazing. so then i think, hunh, maybe all this other stuff is imaginary too. but then i stopped to realize that, no, 1-4 plus 6&7 are still pretty much reality. so i guess that's it then. the worst is over, and i'm expecting good things from life from now on. and life better deliver, or life should fear this! i'm still not tired, but am afraid if i keep typing, i'll start rambling in some really crazy direction and no one will ever return my calls, so i think i'll drop a shot of Nyquil, or maybe some good Dominican rum i've been saving and go sleep in the closet where it's quiet and flea-free. fear THIS, life....fear THIS! 'night y'all. L.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


i have a feeling that i'll be posting somewhat sporadically for the next week or so. i know - everytime i say that, BAM! something comes to me! but i feel compelled to spend time with my rusty metal, glue, soldering gun and wire. the ideas still come like a fountain, and i've reached the point where my ideas are outpacing my skills. i guess that's a good thing - forcing me to reach and go beyond my safe circle of familiar tools and textures. if it was spring, i'd compare it to the first snowdrops peeking their heads above the frozen ground, looking for that 1 warm spot of sun to shine. my body is healing, and that is a blessing. what dasdardly deed did i perform in another life to bring all that calamity on?? 'cause i know i didn't do anything that evil in my recollection! here's a thought: a few of my girlfriends and i had a RAK (random acts of kindness)club....throughout the month, whenever someone did something exceptionally kind to/for you, you put their name in a hat. at the end of the month, we'd each draw a name from our respective hats and tell the others about the incident. it could have been something as simple as a kind word when you needed it most, or an umbrella lent on a hellaciously rainy day...anything that made you smile or feel truly truly grateful. the parameters were personal and ever-changing depending on the day. after the dinner and recounting of tales, we'd each do something for the person who's name we'd drawn - only it had to be an anonymous something. part of the "rules" were that the receiver-of-the-return-RAK should not know who sent them flowers, paid their lunch tab, etc etc. that is truly the hard part! i sent flowers to my supervisor one time (anonymously, of course) with a card that simply said "for all you do." she thought her boyfriend had sent them and called to thank him. he wanted to know who was sending his girlfriend flowers and just what was it that she had been doing to deserve them. this fallout was going on while i was outside on break, and i honestly thought about cutting-and-running! so, did i break the anonymous rule, or let her life dissolve in angry confusion over flowers that were supposed to bring a smile? i fessed up. rules were meant for other people, i guess. at my last job i was one of only 3 people in a huge office building at 3am. the other 2 worked with me. then there was the newspaper guy. we'd scared each other witless before, with him jamming his arm in the elevator door to grab it at the last second, me screaming and him screaming - neither expecting the other to be there. one day, he was waiting out front when i got there, and as we walked to the elevators, i said something about him loitering around out front (joking). he said he saw some "bad dudes" in the area and wanted to be sure i was safe. i was stunned. his route was late that day because he waited for me. so the next "hat draw" paper-guy got the win. it made me double happy - once for the incident, and once for the "payback." the question was - how to do this anonymously. i got him a gift certificate at Dunkin Donuts (he always had a huge travel mug of coffee on his dashboard) and taped it in the elevator with a note "yes...this is for YOU" on it. after i heard the slap of the newspaper hit the kickplate of the door next to our office. i waited a few minutes, then went out to check the elevator. yep. the envelope was gone. he never mentioned it to me, but i'm sure he got it - evidenced but white sugar crumbs on his dark shirt! try this....it's such a great win/win/win feeling! too many people are happy to pass along gloom & doom...people almost get suspicious when something good comes their way! till next time........L.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


wow! what is going on here? my body is rejecting me like a bad virus - i won't bore you with the ongoing saga of the root canal, but dentist #2 just did the most medieval & complete root canal (the 3rd on same tooth) and since tuesday, i've been in p-a-i-n and unable to open my mouth. (please - save the remarks!). the poison ivy continues to torment me. i feel like Job from the Bible....no job, skin afflictions....AND a flying ant hatch in our kitchen. i give! Uncle! and....AND...as if this isn't enough - i've started cooking. yes, as in cooking....kitchen...food to eat from an oven, not a waxed container with duck sauce on the side and a fortune cookie. real food - asian brisket in a slow cooker, stuffed shells, stuffed pork chops. becky home ec-y stuff. with talk of (gasp) a christmas cookie party. i am becoming my mother. well, not MY mother, but SOMEONE'S. i got my homemaker skills from my mother....takeout, housekeeper doing the cleaning, etc. my dad refused to let her work. so, although the circumstances are a bit different, they are starting to look suspiciously similar. scary stuff so close to Halloween. i actually got all my laundry done, folded and put away this week. and felt proud, rather than pissed off that i had to do it in the first place. my husband checks the medicine cabinet to see what may have caused this change, and proceeds cautiously & hopefully. i wish it did come in a bottle...then i could flush it. but no. not only has my body turned against me, but now my entire persona....that "tough biatch, suck it up, i'll do whatever i want and make no excuses" person started to mellow a bit somewhere around the end of the millenium. she became a kinder, smarter, gentler person....certain of who she was and comfortable with it, a little more earth mother, still not quite ready for the donna reed award by any stretch. things should have stopped there, but noooo. like a train with no brakes, i'm speeding past middle age and heading right to some nether-age. i guess it's not about stuffed pork chops or laundry. it's more like, i'm the one with time to do it. although i could work on my rusty metal sculptures 24/7, i don't have a "job." i'm not bringing in an income right now. i am doing something during the day which, when push comes to shove, is expendable. so i think the cooking, homemaking is like an instinctual survival move. sort of like a subconcious move to prove i'm not obsolete, that there's still a need for me here. and i say "subconcious" because i've never really thought about it. and probably wouldn't now, except for the cooking & cleaning thing. maybe i'm just bored. unlikely. maybe this is what i was supposed to be like 20-some years ago before things got hectic and i just rolled with it from day-to-day with no time to think, plan, be. scary scary. it's interesting to look back on the changes and evolution of yourself. remember what was important to you at 12, 13 years old? then at 16? 18? 21, 25, 30 and all those landmark years? what were you like? what were your fears and challenges? have you met and overcome them? if not, what keeps them chained to your ankle this many years later? is it time to just say "let it go" even if there's no answer through it? what things made you happy at those ages? do you remember your goals? have you accomplished them? changed/revised them? who were the important people in your life? why? are they still? why or why not? do you see a clear path to where you are today? or did you take a zig-zag route to today? i still have no explanation for the pot roasts gracing my table at dinner, but it has brought up some interesting thoughts about how i got to where i am - wherever that may be! and i guess, all-in-all, i am comfortable with it - despite the cooking and cleaning, and i guess incorporating a little "housewife" into the rest of the stewpot of personality and "being" isn't such a bad thing. as long as i can still keep the parts i like about myself right now. cookies anyone? L.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

what kind of friend are you?

lately, i've been working with metal in my studio. rusty metal to be precise. rusty bits and parts, actually former parts, of cars and who knows what. my mom gave me a jar of rusty nails in an old pickle jar, and every time i open it, the smell of garlic and vinegar wafts through the air. my aunt lillian used to make the best pickles - "lil's dills" we all called them. the finest. so with nothing but my so-called tin men to keep me company, and the smell of pickles reminding me of family, i started wondering about people. specifically friends. what makes one person turn into a friend, and another just a passing aquaintence? what makes one friend a good friend, or best friend, and another a friend-friend? can a "best" friend be reduced to friend-friend status or vice versa? and if so, what criteria do we judge who will hear our deepest confessions and see us through the worst and best times of our lives? i have a "best" friend who i haven't seen in years and has an allergy to the phone, so i haven't even talked to her in ages. we met as reporters for the same news station. we've been through some great and terrible times together, and those pages in our lives bind us together, but should i still consider her a "best" friend? i have another best friend who lives 3 doors away. we stare out our respective front windows at each other's houses and gab on the phone for an hour or two every morning. if i don't call till the afternoon, she worries. we're both artists, we've both lost 4-legged loved ones this year. we both worry about starting a business, day-to-day money stuff, creativity, and on. so we have those similarities, but there's more. so i'm back to what makes one person a best friend, and another a friend-friend? is there a care-and-feeding of a friendship that lets it grow and blossom and become ripe and juicy? is it a yin-yang thing? each brings something to the relationship that completes a circle? i have friendships, that despite my best vows and attempts, i am the dumpster - i'm constantly dumping all my problems on the other person. i try not to, but they have a way of bringing it out of me. i have other relationships where i am the trash hauler - needing to contribute little more than a "umm hmm" at the right moment on the phone. both friends are wonderful, and i wouldn't trade them for anything. both are "good" friends. when we were young, we had that one special "best" friend. that's all our parents heard about was "so-and-so my best friend." and there was only one. two peas in a pod. your own secret world. till a third came around and boy, then there was trouble. now who was going to be the best friend? as adults, we like to think that those "best" friend days are behind us....busy with jobs, family, just trying to get by with busy schedules. but are they behind us? not really. is it that a "best" friend is dependable....they'll be there at 2am when you're crying your eyes out, or just can't sleep, or need a ride to Urgent Care? what about a long distance best friend? i'm thinking, and my tin man on my work table agrees, there's no easy answer here. just as we are attracted to one man over another, i think there is also a chemical kind of thing that makes us gravitate to one female friend over another. and varying degrees of that reaction will determine the hierarchy of the friendship in our mental filing system. all done subconciously. i know a woman who's friend lied to her about some trivial thing. when confronted, the person lied again to cover. in my book, that friendship would be done. but my friend saw other characteristics about this person that she enjoyed being around, so she let the incident go, and continued on with the friendship. now, if i want to be lied to, i'll go hang out in bars again! i think when a female friend hurts us, it is a deep wound. we least see it coming from a female friend. it's like attacking one of your own species...someone from the home team. i have an old boyfriend who once said if we ever had an argument, he'd rather swim naked in a shark tank with turkey drumsticks strapped to his head then risk a dinner party that included my girlfriends. he insisted that women get on "the hotline" and pour out their troubles to each other, call after call, till everyone knew what a terrible person he was. because it was always the man's fault. well, women do "troubles talk." it's part of our nature. and maybe, at that time in my life with those friends, he would have been right to risk the sharks. but now i ask....where are those friends? i haven't talked to most of them in 10 years. i don't think i'd have anything TO talk to them about now. ah ha! so maybe "best" friends are the timeless ones. your relationship isn't dependant upon circumstance or distance or commonalities, as much as it is a certain sameness. sort of - i know you...you are me. so when one of you changes, it doesn't affect the friendship, because the sameness holds you in that bond. you see yourself in the other person - even if they are older, or younger, or taller or wealthier. you are two and you are the same. i paused here for a few minutes after writing that in order to think about the women i consider "best" friends. i tried my theory out for size on each of them - and believe me, you couldn't find a more diverse bunch of women! and each time i put the cloak over someones shoulders - it fit. tall, short, heavy, thin....didn't matter. it fit like a fine couture garment, made special for, and by, each and every one of them. each enhancing my life in ways i don't deserve. each bringing a certain laughter, or quietness, or spirituality or urging-on of my spirit. that cloak of friendship fit each one perfectly. i wonder what it is that i bring to them? because for a "best" friend thing to work, it definately has to be a two-way thing. i wonder what i bring to them? my tin man has no response. L.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

skidboot the dog

since i'm in a creative frenzy right now, i thought i'd pass this on for your enjoyment....it takes about 9 minutes. just cut & paste in your browser....L. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5249518974978628334&q=skidboot&h (no sad ending, despite the sappy music!)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

still crazy

my days shift along with the sunrise to the dusk to the dark....daytime finds incredible reserves of energy spent building, creating, sculpting. it's more like being a spectator as the sculpture sculpts itself, using me for my hands and eyes. 2,3, almost 4 works complete. good stuff. stuff i'm damn proud of! as evening draws near, my energy wanes and i'm most likely found with a book resting on my stomach, my eyes closed, snoozing. on and off, a few hours sleep, a few hours creating. and through it all - the itching. i'm still upset with nature for this poison ivy scorge, but realizing that the color spectacular is soon to be replaced by frosty white, white and more white, i decided to grudgingly continue my daily walks with little girl dog. the colors continue to intensify, as the squirrels pick up their frenzied pace a beat or two....winter is approaching. the squirrels know it, the lone Cardinal in my front tree knows it. the black and orange wooly caterpillar crossing my shoe today knows it. winter is my least favorite season, even though my birthday is tucked neatly in between Christmas and New Years. the struggle with layers of clothes and boots and gloves and ice scrapers....it just tires you out thinking about going for a walk. then to brave the spitting ice, hitting your cheeks and glazing your forhead, tears from shrill winds freeze at the corners of your eyes. your nose, red from blowing and wiping, can hardly stand the intake of such thoughtlessly cooled air. yes, winter is the least ranked season on my list. yesterday, i went to an honest-to-God junk yard, a pick-n-pull bonanza of rusted parts and screws and doodads that perhaps only i could see the value in. as he-man types wandered around with transmissions on their minds and wrenches in their back pockets, i strolled about with a phillips head and a slotted screwdriver. i needed neither, for the real treasures were found on the ground, like seashells left behind after a wave hitting the shoreline. when i placed my bounty of tiny rusted parts on the counter on the way out, the cashier didn't even register that these were the items i wanted....no engines, no tires, not even a radiator. just a few bolts and screws and unknown debris....treasures to me. he had no idea how much to charge me, and the man with the truck exhaust in line behind me would have gladly paid my tab so he could set his purchase down. so, my new rusted treasures have found their way into a new sculpture. my husband doesn't even bother shaking his head anymore. he just doesn't get it, and finally realizes that it really really is okay for him to not "get it." i don't get golf, and don't feel any less of a person for that. i mean, please - smack a little dimpled white ball down the lawn, chase it, and do it again and again. now THAT'S hard to understand! so it's near dinnertime, and i'll be gone for a few days. check back on the weekend and hopefully i'll have some new deep thoughts and great pictures. L.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

foiled by foliage

today i'd hoped to be able to post some beautiful fall foliage pictures for you...the colors have almost reached their most magnificent, with the reds and ambers bursting to surpass the umbers and yellows. oak leaves, willows, even dropped pine needles blending on the floor of nature's palette. nature's art show....a contest who's prize is the ooohhh's and aaahhh's of those meandering through wooded paths and scenic views. as little dog and I wandered along our Big Walk, a small chirpiing noise caught her attention, and she dove through some underbrush after a chipmunk. an exercise in fultility, but a diversion for her all the same. when we got home, she of course needed a moment of cuddling and reflection. it was just a while after that that the spots and itching started. not really noticable at first to my consciousness, but irritating all the same. within hours the poison ivy had begun it's dastardly creep from hands to elbows and up the shins. of course, that tender part of the ear had to chime in. any little normal itch became suspect and soon, i was acting like a woman crazed. and i was. am. so, all i can say is "leaves of 3 - let them be." and if your dog can't count, don't pet it till a proper hazmat bath has been applied. the pictures will have to wait. i'm mad at nature right now. L.

Friday, October 06, 2006


my father died on 10/7/77 at 7am. tomorrow marks the "anniversary" of his passing. he and i lived in the same house for our entire lives together, but i feel like he was a stranger. my father was a traveling salesman. he was gone from Monday-Thursday, then came home to a house that had gone on without him for 4 days. never one to show disappointment, or tenderness, or really much of anything. a jokester and a comedian, his friends were fiercely loyal. having just finished up the incredibly tumultuous teen years, i was about to move onto the stage in life where, if only for a brief span, your parents are your friends - and actually know stuff. he and i never got there together. the ensuing calamities and chaos and life-rearranging after his death played havoc with any soul-searching and reflection, till suddenly a day came in 1987 when i reached for the phone to call him with a question, and realized i was 10 years too late. too late to get to know him. his past, his hopes, dreams. all i knew was he was my father and he sold shoes. very successfully. he had brothers and sisters, but parents were never mentioned. a few years ago, i found a picture of him that was so unlike the man i knew. out on a very rare day to himself, fishing with friends. no one aboard actually fished, nor cared to. it was man-time. all salesmen who left their homes from monday-thursday and came home with their paychecks. all the men aboard that boat have since passed, as well. so i started doing a little digging. actually, it would take a large shovel. family secrets, hurts and grudges prevented a lot of information from leaking out. i have a cousin who now lives in florida who holds all the secrets she was told, and has shared them with me, as best as she remembers. there are alternating versions, depending upon which aunt or uncle told the story. my father was an incredible man, as it turns out. not only for bearing the slices and arrows my teenaged self sent out, but for what he and his brothers and sisters overcame growing up. as each layer was lifted, it was like finding a rare oil painting under years of redecorated wallpaper sheets. my grandmother passed away just before i was born, and her husband had been banished from the family. i had actually sat at a table with him 20 years ago and didn't know it. he was introduced to me as "Jake" and i thought he was a family friend. i remember thinking he looked so sad to be at such a happy occasion. grateful for the invitation, yet feeling like he should have stayed home. as i learned more and more about my father, i learned more and more about myself. like where my art comes from - both written and assembled. he was busy feeding and supporting a family. never having time to indulge in something as time-selfish as art. i vowed to dedicate all of my artistic whims to him....to never ever take for granted the spirit that flows through my hands and watches as the creation creates itself. to be incredibly grateful for the time and circumstance to be able to live my art. to the creative, to not be able to express what needs expressing is death. death of the spirit. unsettling of the mind. an obsession to pick up pots of color or hammer copper into sculpture - to give life to ordinary materials. yet my dad pushed that aside and made his life and his example his art. i cannot thank him enough for what he sacrificed for me to have a better life than he did. i can only try to live his example as a testimony, a remembrance, an affirmation that my father was a good and true man. i have that picture of him hanging in my studio, all photoshopped and collaged. but i have a better picture of him, untouched, unretouched, in my heart and in my head. every day, every circumstance, i promise him that i will try to live up to his expectations of what is good and right and decent. hug your dear ones for me. L.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Share and Cher alike

today has been so ordinary (so far) that there really isn't much to say. i needed an ordinary day really bad, so i guess in it's dullness, it became extrordinary. little dog is feeling sick - tummy rejecting all manner of matter. she sounds like she's wheezy, but my husband says he thinks it's doggy purring. she got a new brush today and is very pleased about that, diva dog that she is. this creative surge is still going and i am grateful for that. i've done a really nice felted wallhanging, with plans in my head for another. working the felt is the most backbreaking, laborious thing. and i love every second. to feel the roving begin to harden and mingle and turn to felt under your urging, well, it can't be beat. the colors are yummy. just the smell of Dove for dishes sends me. you have to really really love felting in order to work with it. the rolling and turning and more rolling and yet more turning...the process is tedious and tiring, and oh so rewarding. i learned to felt from a woman who defies description. she and HER teacher are two of the most exceptional people i have ever met. they are similar yet seperate. my teacher is...well, how to describe her? earthmother - grounded and close to the earth. confident yet not in the brash, in-your-face way that passes for confidence these days. quietly confident. an aura of rest and peacefulness around her, yet charges of energy and creativity light her. i was surprised that her feet actually touched the ground! and her soup - oooohhhh - food of the gods. i went to a 4-day workshop over the summer that was not so much life-changing as it was life-affirming and reinforcing and urging on in the same direction. i met people there who's skills and creativity far surpassed mine, and some who were just starting out. creative women from all over the U.S. and Canada. creative women who'd traveled to every part of the world. every age and shape. how enriching, how exciting, how charged the atmosphere. 15 of us stayed in a fabulous house on Skaneateles lake. right on the lake. we shared meals and stories and ideas. hard to believe, but i was struck dumb. i was like an electrical socket with too many appliances plugged in. overload. i never wanted it to end, and yet to have continued would have been exhausting! all that wonderfulness was almost too much to bear in such a small amount of time. and in the midst of it all - these 2 incredible women. sharing freely of their creativity, generously helping each of us as we reached out to the next creative level. it was like meeting nobility. that's the only way I can describe it. beautiful and passionate in their art and their lives, in a quiet unassuming way. but the intensity and appreciation for the important things rippled beneath the surface. to be able to come away with new artistic ideas was wonderful. to be able to come away with the fragrance of these women's lives lingering just a bit in the fiber of my life's experiences was most wonderful. each of us is a thread in the larger fabric of one another's adornment and lives. each of us has the opportunity to affect the warp and weft of the total garment. each of us weaves through and throughout the lives of others, sometimes unknowingly, not realizing that the kind word or held door made the difference in their life. a moment here and gone thoughtlessly - a needle pulled through a hem and back to the other side. each stitch affecting the entire fabric. be nice. live mindfully. practice random acts of kindness. L.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

following peace

after a week of chaos and confusion, i finally knew what i knew all along about life & jobs & decisions in general: Follow the peace. i was reminded of this morsel of truth by a friend i've known since i was 12. she always reminds me of what i know that i know, but am too afraid to face, or too untrusting of myself to trust myself. i turned down the seemingly wonderful job. actually, it was just the money that was seemingly wonderful. have you ever met someone, or gone into a place, and got an instant viceral negative reaction? despite logic telling you that you're being silly? that's your "gut." trust it. get to know it. become more sensitive to it, so you don't need to go through what i just did, just so the "powers that be" can make their point. His point. yes, i believe in God. and i believe there is a right place for me to be at the right time, and a wrong place at the wrong time. trust me, i have experience in the wrong place at the wrong time! eventually, it gets sorted out somehow, but the interim is wasted time and opportunities, andnot a pleasant place to be. i think that's where regrets are born. not listening to your gut. your gut is that quiet voice, that fluttery feeling, the hair raising on your arms. that rush of adrenaline with a good or bad feeling. or in my stubborn case - those sleepless, tearful nights when the decision seems as high as a mountain, and the consequences life-altering. following your instinct, your gut, takes you back to a primal place where the decisions were fewer - deer or gazelle for dinner? cave or rock for a bedroom? instincts kept people alive for a while. even before CNN and Blackberry phones could warn us of impending doom. we may have advanced technologically, but that fight-or-flight thing just can't be microwaved out. and it was "flight" that took up residence in my bones. i just wasn't moving my feet. my focus was on the money - the expectations placed on me to be a "contributing" member of an expensive household. i may turn around in an hour and be presented with an awesome job that's "right" for me to be at, but following the money without the peace is never a good decision. i may work for less money (and probably will) but being in the right place at the right time will make the details fall into line. when i look back at the last 15, 20 years of my life, i can see where a path formed....where 1 event led to another and to another and i ended up where i am today. if any of the details or choices along the way had been changed, then my life would be a whole lot different. maybe not bad/different, but definately different. example - after my 1st husband died, and the estate was settled (6 years later), i wanted to sell the house and buy a new one. i had the credit score and plenty of equity...no problem. but that wasn't the "right" decision at the right time. as i was looking at the 1st house (3 doors down from my mom - perfect for dog walking for her when i had work overtime till 3am)a UHaul pulls up and people start moving their stuff in. a glitch in the computer had kept the house listing. okay, the next house - again a glitch - the price was actually listed without the "1" in front of the "79,000" and it was way too much. finally - the 3rd house. actually on the same lawn as my job. 5 bedrooms. perfect in every way for me. yard fenced, etc. motivated seller already living out-of-state even offered to help pay my moving van! okay- ready to sign!! the night before i was meeting with the agent for a 2nd look and purchase offer, a freak bolt of lightning hit the house and it caught fire. this is absolutely true. luckily, it was next door to 911 and the fire hit at shift change, so all those fire dispatchers were alert and got the nozzleheads there quick. but do you see what i mean? there was some apparently very important reason for me to stay put. i knew it deep down, but went tra-la-la-ing ahead anyway. had i not stayed in my townhouse, i would never have met Bill, who moved in across the street. take that as you will, but i know that today i am where i should be. today's wednesday, right? i felt a little scared about calling the perfect job people to tell them i changed my mind (or rather, gave in to what i knew i should've done in the 1st place), but that nervousness was nothing like the deep feeling of dread i had about having to walk through their doors come Monday. and despite what logic and my husband said about the money, it was just me that would have to go to work there everyday. doesn't make it a bad place, just not the right place at this time for me. i like to think i'm a person who listens to their spirit and seeks higher understandings. i guess i still have a little battle between the head and the pocket. follow the peace. a navigation system put in our hearts to help lead us along the way. follow the peace. old fashioned advice that rings true in 2006. follow the peace. what great advice. who'da thunk it? L.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

job terrors

okay - so i lied about waiting a week. this is serious. i'm scheduled to start my new job 10/9. the company put together job duties from here & there and cobbled together a job description just pour moi, i think. the pay is excellent to start. but that's where the trouble starts. right after that "pay" part. having spent a sleepless, tearful night (sobbing, actually) trying to reason out why why why i'm feeling so aweful about taking this job, the only thing i can come up with to point to as concrete is really stupid - the lunch issue. you get 30 mins for lunch, for which they add 30 mins onto your work day to "cover." no fridge or microwave. apparantly there were problems with food "borrowing" and stinky food, respectively. the job site is in a really bad part of the city, with no fast food or diners, etc around to grab something hot. the people i've had contact with so far - HR and the receptionist - all seem like downtrodden zombies. i guess the lunch thing is the only real, live thing, everything else is gut feeling. no one seems real happy. and as the time gets closer, i get more anxious, and my gut feeling has begun to chew my gut apart. i spent 3 years in a well-paid hell, and don't want to start all over again in the same spot. it's funny, the whole issue brings up issues of what's important, what do i want for my life, what am i willing to put up with in exchange for money, and is it the money? so some GOOD thinking is going on along with the yuks, but ....yeah - but. i've spent some great reflective "down" time in a non-traditional, not-so-great-paying job, and for that i am very grateful. i also knew the time would probably be short on that - 1 year in radio is just a long time for the average "non-name" person. so my gut feeling about pay vs. pleasant working conditions is.........

Saturday, September 30, 2006


my grandfather was in a branch of military service in Canada,and an expression they'd use when their discharge date was near "i'm so short, i can sit on a dime and dangle my legs," meaning their time left in the service was short. that's how i'm feeling now - i start a job 10/9 working in an office, 8:30-5pm. i have such strong hesitations about it that it borders on near panic - that cartoon cat trying to be bathed feeling. all 4 legs spread out across the doorframe. you get the picture! i don't know if this is a gut feeling that this is not the right place for me to be going, or just the usual resist-change emotions in high gear. if i follw my instinct, i'd call and cancel the offer. but are my instincts guiding me? or is my brain in the way? the trepidation is stronger each day - "today is the last ______ i'll have before i go to work," etc. i know i'll dearly miss my little girl. i know i haven't had an actual regulation job in a while, so maybe that's the emotion bubbling. i need to sort this out and soon! so i'll be taking a few days off from the blog biz while i wrap up some art stuff and settle my mind. meet you back here around wednesday. if you have any thoughts/insights/words from beyond, please email me and i'll add it to the stew in my conflict! L.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

the heart, and thank you bets

my friend has a "signature" at the bottom of all her emails: "You can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." (Immanuel Kant). so true. today, however, i must admit, i had hateful thoughts in the direction of my neighbors huge, untamed, very aggressive German Shepard. the neighbor himself is a little "off" and last year appeared in Wegman's with a Russian speaking woman/girl - his new wife. okay, live and let live. then he got this dog. backwards now: i've been on an incredible creative streak....spending 18-plus hours a day working on a piece that is just forming under my hand magically. the pieces seem to select themselves; the colors choose where they want to go. i feel like i am just the tool to place things here or there. the magic has returned. and even if just for this one expression of art...oh, how sweet and wonderful. how blessed i feel. how once-again alive. having gone through such a dry spell, i no longer take for granted the incredible feeling of creating. and it feels like the creation is creating itself. my shoulders ache. my back aches. my legs and feet numb from standing in 1 spot gluing this or painting that. kept going by caffeine, nicotine and adrenaline. my 3 favorite food groups. the beautiful day sent sinews of mossy breezes through my screen to tempt me though. and little dog was bored and restless, having played tag with herself and her shadow for long enough. so i took a break and we went for a walk, unable to resist or ignore her pointed sighs any longer. a new walk. a new path to keep her interested, and also to look for treasures to put in my assemblage piece. the sun warmed my back as we went trail to trail, then off the trail a bit. she leaped after frogs and bobbled her head watching a fat bumblebee. we found ourselves on the trail toward home, but also the path that leads past the scary dog's house. the dog was inside - i could hear the ruckus. the owner and his wife were working in the yard outside and he actually waved back at my hello. as we passed his house about 50 yards, i heard him yell the dog's name, and turned in time to see this huge streak of brown and black barreling at us. there was no time to even pick up my little girl. the dog was moving so fast, he actually barreled over us and went past before wheeling around and coming back. i was focused on my girl and the look in her eyes. i heard someone screaming and screaming and the neighbor trying to call his dog back. as the shepherd came back at us a 3rd time like a bull after a matador, i scooped my dog up and moved to the side. i didn't want to run, because the woman always falls in the scary movies. the dog went back to the house, but as we started moving away, he came back again. still the screaming, but no help. i was able to make it back to our house and into the safety of our fenced yard. no one had been bit, somehow. and then i realized - it was my own screams that i'd heard. the whole incident seemed like hour upon hour, but my neighbor 4 doors down had started over when she first heard me screaming and just got to my house when i went inside. those moments outside, i hated that dog, and if i had a stick in my hand, i admit i'd have used it. but i also felt bad that his owner didn't care enough about that magnificent animal to love him and teach him. i collapsed on the floor in tears, shaking and crying...i felt like i'd almost lost my girl. that would be patently unfair. my neighbor said the owner had finally caught the dog and was screaming at him outside. my friend has a job that most of us would like to think we'd do. but never would. she looks into the eyes of these animals that were born innocent and mallable, with hearts and feelings from a different plane of understanding. she takes them from owners that should themselves be in cages. how she does it everyday, i'll never know. why she does it, i understand completely. i know she must suffer as they do. for her heart, and her understanding is of the same plane of understanding. i'd send her flowers of appreciation everyday if i could. thank you for doing what i could never do. thank you, Bets. L.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


and what if you were told: one more hour? -elias canetti

following the birds

sorry - i missed a day - okay 2. it's been a busy time in nature, and for me. after a long, restful summer, spent partaking in the bounty of the earth, the birds are edgy and anxious to start their trek south - not unlike kids told too soon that they would be leaving for Disney. it isn't time yet, but in kid-time, every minute is an hour when there's something good at the end of the line. yesterday, my trees were black with birds - an astounding sight....all cheering about something. thousands of birds - very Hitchcock-esque. even Nikki stopped looking for her favorite chipmunk for a while and stood staring at the trees. they knew. the birds were following some internal urging that something big was coming....it was time to stop the usual day-to-day, to pay attention, take stock - today would be different. after about 15 minutes, they all lifted off at the same moment and flew away. the silence left behind was enveloping. it's migration time for them. the beautiful sun-colored finches have shed their finery and shrugged into winter plumage - grey and brown. they will stay the winter with me, flitting to the window feeder, peeking in. i'm listening to a Natures Classics CD that has background music of the classics with sounds of birds, wolves, and water burbling all mixed together. an awesome meoment - i have the house to myself. me and little girl dog. my favorite days are like this. just the sounds that i make filling the rooms...no stress to deflect, no lists made for me to "keep busy," no obligations to anyone or anything, except the natural urgings of my muse. sometimes a gentle whisper, a gentle wing-brush against my thoughts...sometimes bold and pushy - i must create at those times or be unable to do anything else. the push is so strong, the ideas so clear and insistant, that to ignore them is to deny my self breath. and a day like today is perfect for giving myself over to that tap-tap-tapping impatient foot of the muse. the project is being born gloriously, painfully, under my hand. the physical work - mine. the direction coming from unseen places i have been, either in sleep, or awake and closing my mind's eyes to shield them. my friend moved to Colorado, near a place called Garden of the Gods. the picture is above. couldn't you just.......? L.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


rain taps on my roof -gentle, tentative at first, then more insistant. i picture leaves washing from from tenuous treetop tendrils, carried by the heavy drops sliding across the slick shingles, ending their journey on the ground. is it the end of their journey though? from there, they will begin anew - a different form, becoming rich, loamy soil nourishing new seeds- urging them upward from sun-warmed ground after winter has tired of it's frozen filabuster and moved on. new trees will begin - searching for sunlight, bending and leaning to warm this side, then the other. basking. later, strong and true, buds burst open and delicate new green unfurls, decorating once-barren branches - a coming of age. rain will soak roots, thirsty for relief as summer's sun threatens to dry and crumble this new life. a delicate balance. adornment of strings and grasses form hollowed cups high in shielded branches - soon insistant calls of hunger & protest arise from them as hatchlings begin the cycle once again. night, held at arm's length too long, begins to creep forward a minute at a time. soon the rains, no longer warmed by long summer suns, will begin to cool and tap on my roof early morning. signaling an end and a beginning of a new cycle with each drop. a continuum. an unbroken circle.

Friday, September 22, 2006

meditation & mediation

sometimes, you need to take a break - to mediate between the whirling circles of lists and chores and carpools and job demands, and the need for an oasis of calm that's all yours. to take a mental breath and revive. power napping was all the vogue in the 90's - sort of a form of meditation, but without the thought - just the closed eyes and rest. and i couldn't help but think of how often i hear the phrase "some days, there just aren't enough hours," or "I just don't have enough time." well, everyone has the same number of hours to work with in a given day. there are 24. and that part won't change. it's how you choose to use these precious gifts. yes - choose. yes, we have to work, and the number of hours per day we do that is pretty much determined by our employer. some are lucky enough to have flextime, or work from home options, but most do not. you have the power to choose to set aside time for just you. even if it's once a week. if you can't squeeze that in, then it's time to look at your choices....the things you choose to do with the hours you have been given. and by the way, do you know how many are in your time-bank? no one does. that's why it's so important to "use your time wisely." saying "no" or "at another time" to kids, husbands, wives, etc in order to make time for yourself - is not evil! you are you. you deserve a day or half-a-day or an hour or 30 minutes - just to do something that makes you happy ....the biggest indulgence i can come up with so far is a pedicure. i thought it would gross me out, but i went to the casino and had an ice cream pedicure (one of the free perks of radio) and lost my mind! (no comments). try this: find a quiet place in your home where you won't be disturbed. bring 2 very thick books. lock the door. dim the lights, if possible. light a scented candle if you'd like. now... lay on the floor on your back. bend your knees. your toes and the balls of your feet should be on the books, flexing your feet. bend your arms at the elbow, and rest your hands and forearms on your stomach by your belly button. this is called "the perfect resting position." in this position, every single muscle in your body is allowed to rest - ahh ha - except one - that hamster-wheel in your brain. okay - close your eyes. feel your spine naturally gravitate to the floor. breathe in through your nose, and out through your nose - a deep one. don't hold it in between the in and the out. just a nice deep, gentle, steady, cleansing breath. the 1st time, examine what is churning on that wheel....lists of things to do? disappointments? fears? take them out 1 at a time and examine them. is that particular issue worthy of using one of your precious time-bank hours? if so, then get it done, and remove it from the wheel. pull out those items 1 at a time. manage them, catagorize them. deal with them or dismiss them. get rid of them. you own your time-bank hours....it's your job to use them in the best way you can. there are no line-of-credit accounts at this bank. prioritize. what is important to you? how would you like to live your life? i believe that each of us is here for a reason. it isn't necessary to go to Tibet to discover the reason - just live your life. somewhere, your life is a wheel or a cog that meshes with another and so on, creating ripples and touching lives we never imagined - sort of like that book Pay It Forward. do you find yourself helping others live their lives, even though they are quite capable? making their decisions for them, making their lives easier by doing ____(fill in the blank - laundry, cooking, carpools, dishes, housework, etc). if that gives you joy and fulfillment, fine. if not, why aren't you asking for help? look at it as giving another person an opportunity to feel good about helping YOU. older children with issues in their life....why are you still living their life for them? i promise, they'll still love you if you allow them to make their own decisions, support themselves, get themselves out of the jam they've gotten themselves into. there's a boundary between giving someone a hand up or a help out in time of need/crisis, and taking over the problem for them so they don't have to deal with it. and limits can be placed on the help you give. count the change in your time-bank. trust me on this. if it feels right to you, maybe it's time to "manage your time" rather than "let time get away from you." time is always there....always the same. it's how we use it that shifts perception. once you've cleared the hamster-wheel, take a few minutes (or more!) to think about what your dreams are....."I've always wanted to ____" what's stopping you? can that be overcome in some way? i've always wanted to learn how to salsa dance. i have 3-left-feet. so i looked into lessons, and am saving up for them. i will learn how to salsa dance somehow and soon. i may only dance in the privacy of my home, but the joy of accomplishing this is already sweet in my thoughts, and helps me make better choices with my money - new shirt, or dance fund? see how this goes? it's so wonderful, this "time management" stuff. you are master of your own given time. the trick is that you don't know how much you have - an hour? a day? 40 years? so live mindfully, and live kindly....that person who stole the last up-front spot at Wegmans in the rainstorm....maybe their account is running low. don't make them spend their time fussing with you. it just isn't that important. so try this "perfect resting meditation/mediation" a few times. see if it helps. at least you got some time alone! L.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

sensing it

if you had to make a choice, which of your senses would you give up? somedays i think i'd love to be "sense-less" as the smell of dirty socks and the sight of the towering laundry hamper taunt me. but then i think of what i'd miss....the crisp, balsamy smell of the fall forest - just on the cusp of turning to full nostril-assault overload....and the leaves - the brilliance of the reds, greens, umber, amber, yellow - colors unable to be duplicated by anyone other than Nature herself - a thousand shades of each, changing as the sun shifts; changing as the morning mist lifts off the lake revealing a new dew-soaked world as Nature checks her closet to see what to wear that day; the sun rising and reflecting her choice across the water, ripples like corduroy....the shriek of the blue jay and insistant 1-note call of the cardinal mingle with the raucous laugh of the woodpecker and chatter of the finches and sparrows as squirrels fuss and squawk at one another running rings up and down the tree trunks - to not hear that symphony ever again would surely be a punishment....wild raspberry bushes prickle out onto the path - a few deep, rich purple berries still cling to their spiky branches waiting for the birds and squirrels and chipmunks to finish their final gleaning before the winter cover....i reach for one, grasping the bumpy fruit gently and hold it in my hand for the slightest moment, then pop it into my mouth - the sweet tangy juice bursting across my tongue - a gift, a moment to hold. my dog begs for whatever it is that i have and i share another with her - she, not as impressed, and suddenly needing to be held. i run my fingers through her curls and soft fur. her eyes half-closed as she leans into me and puts her head on my shoulder and sighs. the fur on her head soft and straight and silky, her neck curly and twisty ringlets, and her body thick already as her winter coat grows in. a frog plops into the stream nearby and the spell is broken as she darts off to explore. which of these moments - these gifts - could i do without...would i not miss? i'm thankful for each and all, and grateful most that the decision is ficticious...an exercise created only to make me appreciate what i have and use and so often assume is a given. l.