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, September 30, 2007


it may not have worked on the last one...sorry...i'll have to get my money back from that HTML class i took at community college. THIS should work tho......thanks Rise! the archives and other stuff are now at the bottom, but i am sooo not fussin with that tonight. L.


i'm trying to adjust the font size...apparently when i see it on my monitor it looks just fine - however, my monitor is adjusted to the "braille" setting for my old eyes. so i'm hoping this will be the ticket! Last winter, my neighbor & I each watched the DVD of "The Secret" which made sense sometimes, and was a real leap in other parts. so I decided there only one way to find out if it was true-put it to the test. (for those of you who haven't seen/heard of it, the Secret follows basically the "name it and claim it" rule of thumb...if you believe you will have it, the Universe will bring it). So i said "I want $6M and my dream house by the end of the year." and i was VERY specific...the 6mil would be after taxes, after my husband's ex took her cut, after everyTHING and everyBODY finished horsing with MY money. i also have the house designed. okee dokey. now we wait. since, according to part of the DVD, you only need faith the size of a mustard seed in order to invoke this divine intervention into your life, i feel comfortable in the fact that Other Linda is standing to the side with her arms crossed, cigarette in her mouth going, "Good Christ! What have you fallen for now??" mustard seed...mustard seed. so then i thought, "hunh. end of the year? i won't make it. how about end of the summer?" the universe is big enough, eh? well, the nights are getting colder and Other Linda is shaking her head with a smirk on her face. but still - the ORIGINAL contract was for end of ther year, so i'll wait. this dream house - oy! to see it would just kill you. it's actually a compound, of sorts. not to get all cult-like on you. but it's a sort of respite house/art center. with huge studio/workshop rooms...al adirondack style in the main house...guest rooms o' plenty...a housekeeping fairy...a yard fairy...and of course, snow removal fairies, etc. koi ponds, huge fenced yard for diva, a stream running through the back, the whole shebang. i have seen this house in dreams for years now, and can draw it (in my own fashion) down to the last coffee mug. (actually, that's no exaggeration about the mugs, as i experienced quite the Coffee Mug Debacle last winter, but we've moved on. safe place safe place.) so anyway, maybe if you all would just close your eyes really really tight, and send some positive energy my way, we can ALL enjoy KitaBear Respite House by new years. barring a universal miracle, send me money. (just kidding). speaking of the Coffee Mug Debacle Which Is Not To Be Spoken Of, did i ever mention that i found one of my precious lovelies at the Salvation Army across from where i worked? it was my Cafe Du Monde mug, priced at under a dollar. i brought it home and put it back in its rightful place...tag intact. not another word. so i'm keeping this short because i'm not sure if the font thing worked, and also, my glue is dry....time to paint!! i'll try to get some usable pictures of this shrine....it just takes my breath away. yeah, i guess there is some universe miracle stuff going on - every time i stand in my studio, i'm amazed at what joins me at the end of the day. now....are you concentrating?? i can't feeel it! okay - better. L

Thursday, September 27, 2007

ebony & ivory

so what is with the pianos lately?? today i got ANOTHER line on someone who wants some post-traumatic mosaic work on a piano. yikes! i can't even play a note, myself, but think it would be much easier to practice on a 1-of-a-kind piano. so we'll see about this one. i also got a trunkful of the coolest rustiest STUFF! i'll be trying to scratch out time to do some post-traumatic totems soon. it's starting to happen, and i thank God for that. talked with an awesome photog today to do some work shooting my "stuff" so i can finally have a website. very cool. so do you hear Jiminy Cricket singing "When You Wish Upon A Star" yet? my friend gail who does call now just spent a week in a cabin by the Lake. just quilting. paradise! i talked to her today and she's done 3! i have completion-envy....we've taken classes together in the past and she always finishes her quilt. i have a stack of them in various stages of un-finishedness. i'll admit it - there are a lot of days when i want to BE gail...including the Husband Who Shall Be Worshipped. not that i have designs on him....no no no. her life is just so.....well, to be envied. in a good way. and i'm happy for her as if it were me. she cooks gourmet stuff, her house is always clean, her house is decorated way cool, her hair (which varies wildly from season to season) is always EXACTLY how i would want mine, she's all sociable...okay i'll stop. but just thinking about her makes me smile. and feel very glad to count her as a friend. in thinking about it, while i revised my Surprise Birthday Party list, i have been blessed with a lot of very cool friends with very cool lives. interesting people. doing interesting things. why they hang out with me is a question i'll never be able to answer! so anyway...an early bedtime tonight. Youngblood is home for the night to attend a friend's father's funeral. there's sure to be some man fussin' later. oy. L.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

very exciting!!!

Some amazing news! Grandma Lana, who gave me the inspiration for the Rickety Zen Circus has agreed to tell her story! It was her circus (well, hers and Grandpa Roman) that generates so much division and confusion in the family....one half denying they were born from Rom ("gypsy") blood...one half proud but very quiet about it. it's only when the family gathers, and late at night, when the stories start to come out. never written down. till now. i'll faithfully transcribe her story as it is told to me. stay tuned. meanwhile...i finish work on part 1 of my series about the circus..."The Calliope." is good, yah? L.

discomforting comfort

(i seem to get the damndest fortunes in my cookies.) i've learned that when i'm feeling mentally out-of-sorts, that Something Big is about to happen...some change or opportunity. not always a huge huge deal, sometimes a subtle shifting of the perception, a new perspective. sometimes, it's a Grand Idea that's starting to bubble it's way to the surface, and i've yet to catch a glimmer of it. no matter, i'm feeling discomforted now, and for once i'm recognizing it for what it is, and somewhat excited by the possibility. it's like staring at the sky on a Perseid night, though, waiting to see Your Shooting Star....will it ever happen? so in the meantime, i'll just carry on with life as i know it....2 shows coming up, and ideas for 3 series of work. not to mention the Rickety Zen Circus, which has taken on a life of it's own. i have proposals for 2 commissions - i say "proposals" as if they are all power pointed and ready to go in a nice leather briefcase. it's more like.."hey - wouldn't it be extra cool if i ....?" both pieces will be done in my own unique post-traumatic mosaic style, which is great that the people trust me so much with their valuables! do they really think i know what i'm doing?? well, off to the junk yard...man i need a pick-up truck. the Amishmobile just doesn't have enough trunk space...what with my hidden stash of tetanus-ridden treasures in there now. hey - i need acrylic dowels...any ideas out there? i may take a blog break - it's gotta be boring as all get out to sit and read about the minutiae of my life. maybe when i have something worth chattering about i'll be back. check in often. my mind is subject to change. actually, i just kind of forget, and PRETEND i've changed my mind. L

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

rickety zen circus

it's amazing what your mind will concoct at 2am when left to it's own devices. and by 3:30, well....let me just say - it'll either scare you, or inspire you...depending on what you had for dinner, i suspect. having laid (lain? layed? ack!) (forget it - having been awake...)all night, for no particular reason, i finally gave in and went to the studio. i figured i'd ponder a bit and grow tired very quickly. i mean, last night by 8pm i was stumbling over my own words due to fatigue. and if you know me well, that's a lot of stumbling. so anyway, i decided to sketch out some ideas, but realized, once again, that i'm not a sketcher. i have to just dive in and DO....let the materials take me where they want to go. so very very quietly, i put on a CD...i thought it was some good Ella, but i'd grabbed the wrong disc. soon, the Manheim Steamroller Christmas CD was tickling my sensibilities...i mean, here it is in the middle of Indian summer, and i've got christmas music on! that kinda got me smiling, and less desperate for sleep. and then BAM! my christmas present arrived! without thought to the hour, or the need for sleep in order to be awake for work the next day....the Rickety Zen Circus was born! it was originally going to be this whole deep fiber art wallhanging with symbolism and texture and depth o' plenty. since i couldn't find the just right fabrics i needed, i grabbed some cotton duck that i bought a few months ago who knows why because it was there and struck me at the moment. bright red and bright yellow. strips cut strips sewn pleats niches yes i said pleats i know zip zip now blue here even tho it looks a little crayola yuk right now....the whole process was so meditative - since this wasn't A Project, i could just relax into the motions of making someThing and not have to really think about it. during that time i reworked my altered drinking fountain and have some fantastic ideas for the piano commission. (mentally). the entryway will have to wait. but as the sun began to light a little, i took a hard look at my handiwork. yow. all that wonderful zen-like night had been spent sewing the reddest red and yellowest yellow together...it looked like circus colors to me. which aside from my friend jenn who collects circus memorabilia, i'm not sure who would find it attractive. so time to schmutz a little...yarn fiber paint a little doodad dangles and a little more manheim...which just struck me as very twilight zone since i associate jenn with manheim steamroller since she dates (or dated) a guy in the band...hmmm...maybe this is for jenn? i had been working on a piece for her for about a year and just got all frustrated with it so there it sits half done. jenn is scary fun. i say she's my "friend" but when i think about it, we've only seen each other 3 times in our lives. the 1st was at a holiday open house hosted by my brother and his then-girlfriend. jenn and i were the first ones there of course, and we hit it off immediately. despite a never-ending well of stories about her bad behavior as the nights go on. each time i've seen her, her first words have been, "i hope i didn't embarrass you last night." that just cracks me up. she does not hold back when it's time to have fun, that's a fact. and although i'm MUCH more laid back, shall we say, when i go out (as if i ever go out which is next to never unless you count Jr Hockey Banquets and high school lacrosse games)i'm well past the age when other people's behavior embarrasses me. hell, i feel that at almost-50 that it's my JOB to embarrass my step-teens. pity me for thinking/feeling 20-something in an "old woman's body." i remember being similarly embarrassed by my mom at that age. now i Get It. so the Rickety Zen Circus is just about ready for hanging. where it will hang is a mystery for now. but what a way to spend a sick day from work, huh? by the way, is there any smell more cozy than that of clothes being ironed? mmmmmmmm. L.

Monday, September 24, 2007

cold water

remember when you were little and it was the first day the pool was open? you tested the water with your toe and IT WAS COLD. do you ease in slowly till you were used to it - or so numb it didn't matter - or do you just jump in and get it over with? well, the water is cold! i talked to the big boss today and explained how much of a benefit it would be for the company if i went part time. i detailed for her the new department i had created just for myself, and explained how productivity would actually INCREASE by me working less time, but in my own little new department. thank God for sales skills! she was impressed (i think) or maybe a better poker player than i give her credit for. or maybe just a little afraid of me. eaither way...i'll find out tomorrow if my proposal is a hit! i kept chanting my mantra all day ..."the money will come....the money will come." about 250 angry phone calls later (i was the callTAKER not call Maker), i was still chanting, but out loud this time. getting a little punchy by 2pm...wanting - no, NEEDING - a cigarette and the ladies room so bad. but no smoking on the premises. how could i have gotten a job like this?? wanting badly badly to be in my studio to use some of the rusty metal treasures my brother and my angelfriend gave me yesterday. but nooo. so all this combined to make me realize that the water may be cold, but i was jumping in with a big, huge bellybomber...jumping into my new life....well, my old life, actually, before i got the silly idea that Big Girls pull on strangling pantyhose and slip into pointy , uncomfortable high heels and leave their houses at 8am and don't get home till 7pm, then try to be Becky Home-ecy AND find time to be a good doggie-mom. oh yeah - and an artist! hunh. go figure why i'm exhausted! so the pantyhose will make a nice "skin" for my dolls, and the shoes will most likely find their way into some sculpture or another. so anyway, back to the mantra. i (finally) leave work, and lo and behold, on my cell phone there are 2 - count 'em 2 - calls from people who want me to do big, fat, juicy, exciting commissions for them! fun stuff - scary stuff - scary as in i-hope-you-really-want-me-to-schmutz-up-your-brand-new-nice-piano stuff. not to mention an entire entryway. can i get a witness here? how about an Amen? let me hear a Hallelujah! Jesus is come and He's bringin a ladder. quick - everybody look busy! (ok - i stole that last one from a t-shirt my brother brought back from Cabo.) ( course i don't think Jesus was real happy with the shirt, if you've checked the weather map recently). so it should be an interesting week, all in all. i'll check back in with you.....save some rusty nails for me! L.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

okay - another perfect day

wow - a regular trend! the temp...perfect. slight breeze...perfect. no melted butter/red wine/white wine/seafood/sweet corn/texas beans/caramel apple pie hangover....perfect. the warm glow that comes after a block party with our fantasic neighbors...perfect. hang on. **** i'm back. okay, husband burning a tree stump a little close to the house with too big a flame with the testosterone trio from the street....not so perfect. i may become a widow tonite. so i went to the Westcott Nation Street Festival today. my bro was in town and he stays with my angelfriend when he's here. her house is right in the Nation, so a short walk around the corner and BAM there you are. where else in upstate NY can you see a very tall, very thin, very pale man walking down the street in a spandex midriff top and leggings, wearing a raggety ann wig, carrying an accordian under his arm, and he's not in a band. i think to myself: cool accordian...i could make art out of that beauty. the Nation is our little nod to San Fran, Greenwich Village, SOHO, and P'Town all rolled into one. not just a "gay area," (as my girlfriend inquired) but a very culturally cool area...university rentals, artist residences, just a very open and wonderful feel. i got a chance to meet the coolest wearable art artist...a friend of my brother's...her shop is called Secret Lentil, Reconstructed Clothing. she bills herself as a renegade seamstress...gotta love that! she closed her bricks-and-mortar store, and opened an etsy shop. check her out...SecretLentil.etsy.com . take the time to read thru her "about me" and her commission work policy! i could've bought a bunch o' things from her, but for once i was good...being aware that i am buying MY BOWL this week!! so exciting. my Coyote Trickster Bowl! Yippee. anyway, i just wanted to clue you in on Secret Lentil and tell you i had a perfect day. hope everything is very perfect with you...and a big surprise coming...yes! my website! ta-da! i had some breathe-into-a-bag moments when i sat down to make it, and procrastinated by emailing a half a dozen people asking questions that i could have easily googled the answer to had i not been suddenly frozen with the reality that this was a declaration of Realdom. i know i know...it's been Real for a while now, but somehow, putting it out there on the web for the whole world to see, just seems a little tilt-a-whirl. so anyway. i regained my sensibilities, slapped myself really hard and will let you know when the thing is working. my apologies to those i may have emailed with seemingly easy cheesy questions. i was just being a big baby. oh - i got a call out of the blue about working at an art gallery. hunh. you never can tell what'll come up....L

Saturday, September 22, 2007

a perfect day

today is A Perfect Day...a light breeze whispers over my sun-warmed shoulders as i take diva dog on the Short Walk over the dock, through the echo echo tunnel and past the Monkey tree. just perfect! this morning at 4am, she ran out of love and woke me up to fill her tank. a little paw tapping gently beside my face on the pillow...her special little Eskie-dog noise she makes when she's trying to be very quiet but definately needs my attention. sort of an "uuummmmmm" sound. her whole body wiggles with excitement when she senses i'm awake and she starts licking my hand. i say "senses" because even if i don't move a muscle, she seems to know that i am out of the Dreamworld. she then does her shameless Love Me flop across me, indicating clearly that her belly needs a scratch. i didn't want to wake you up, mom...my belly made me. so once her Love quotient was reached, we got up to go out. as she checked her favorite spots for intruders and messages, i knew i was up for the day. i've been trying to figure out a way to combine my passion for rusty metal with my love for textural fiber. trying for months now. rolling around ideas in my head like a worry stone. rejecting this one, putting that one in the Maybe file. and this morning - i GOT it! not one to be a sketch-it-out type, i thought maybe this would be a good time to get some basics on paper anyway....after all, it was 4:30am and who knows where this incredible thought would be at 5:30? page after page after page ...breaking pencil leads in my mechanical pencil...more coffee more coffee...the energy of the idea feeding off itself...growing...expanding in depth and taking on greater form...a conference of thoughts...all the while, night crickets squeeking in the background...how much better does life get? so i'm off to work on this....i'll leave you with some pictures of our walk..............L

Thursday, September 20, 2007

bundling up the soul

the nights are crisper now. diva dog and i go for our evening walk, now quiet with the early darkness, a sweater wrapped across my shoulders....it's sleeves reminding me of winter soon enough to come. daytime, a few leaves have already begun to blaze and glory in their finest reds and amber. my morning cup of coffee on the deck a bit quicker, feet no longer soaking in warmth from the wood...now slippers are needed to keep the cold from following me inside. afternoons still warm my face, as the last bits of summer trace the sky. it's a strange time in my spirit. the contentment of fall - my favorite season....the sadness of summer's warmth and freedom and adventure turning the bend and waving out the back window....my spirit already beginning to wrap itself in a cottony cocoon to wait out the shortened days and frozen trails through my Woodspath. given a chance, i'd vote winter out of the seasonal lineup altogether. given a chance, i'd fly across the map from one autumn to another, reveling in the delicious colors and scents and smells. already smoke from a cedar fire creeps along the treetops. winter is made for rest. the earth pulls up her blanket of snow and covers herself for a few months...no tilling of her soil...no feet across her back...her waters quiet now, as birds and boats each find warmer places to play. a time for peace and reflection. of course it will be a few months before the first real freeze, but i feel it pinging and creeping about in my spirit. soon to come. usually around this time, i too begin to slow a bit...become more introspective...rest a bit in my mind. but this is no ordinary year...the introspection that usually falls with each unique snowflake has been with me throughout the summer...and along with my autumnal quietness is a parralel of excitement...a jittery foot bobbing up and down in my soul... a feeling, a sense, that Something Great and Good and different than ever before is about to happen. what it is - who knows. this has been a summer of tremendous growth. of finding my True Self...seeing her and not turning from the reflection this time...not denying her her existance...her right and her need to Be. and learning to Just Be, without needing to force the issue. Just Be. To speak my thoughts with the same kindness and consideration as always, but to speak them. i watch my 17-year old stepdaughter being unique by being the same...all those rows of skinny headbands and ponytails caught up in a bun...who can tell one from the other? i remember when fitting in with just the right group was essential. even the arties and the stoners had their own similar dress codes and hairstyles and clique-ishness. testing out personas with the safety net of the group. there is a very important attorney in town that i went to school with...1st grade through high school. and for the life of me - no matter what that man accomplishes, i'll always remember him as the kid who always won our 5th grade hotdog eating contests. every thursday was hot dog day in the school cafeteria. for 25-cents, the lunch lady gave you 2 hotdogs and some other forgettable but no-doubt nutritious foods on your sectioned melamine lunch tray. we'd each donate 1 of our hot dogs to the Contest. every thursday, this now-attorney and another kid would gobble and choke down as many of those boiled nightmares as they could. the contender - i remember his name as well. he is also famous for gluing his hands together in art class in 4th grade. i've lost track of him. another memorable classmate (oh God - here i go with the menopausal remembrance moments. better take 'em when i get 'em!) left school for a few years, allegedly to live in California. when he moved back, he was soon expelled after his required reading of his short story in Creative Writing. (now called Language Arts). we, as 8th graders in a primarily Good School, had never heard of poronography, let alone READ it, let alone WRITTEN it. and here he was for all the world in front of the class reading his assignment. now don't ask me how i know this next part, because it involved a call-in-sick-to-work girls chili-skiing-porn party. thought up by some very bored almost-30 year olds full of Margaritas. and it was a very long time ago. BUT the point is, that this kid is making go-zillions of dollars writing for the porn industry. as if those things have a plot. again, not that i have a TON of experience in those matters. and i have strong opinions in that regard. but i mentioned to another alumni that i'd seen this kid's name and they confirmed that it was indeed the same person. who knew? and here i am slogging it out day-to-day. huh. so anyway...back to my original points. but the mood is gone now. see? it's that weaving in and out of the Summer Soul entwined with the Autumn Soul. time to cuddle into my sheets with my diva dog licking my hand goodnight. and goodnight to you, as well. L.

Congratulations! It's a (big) girl!

another sleepless night, as visions of myself in my Real job paraded endlessly through my head. Sugar Plums on payday, yes, but the rest...not so Genuine. so here's my decision: i've been stuck in the figurative Birth Canal of life for some time now. (my apologies to the Host). but me being me, i needed to take a few steps and make sure the ice wasn't cracking under me before i skated a few feet further out. no Nancy Kerrigan-like moves this time. (without the whole knee drama). it seems like most of my Big Decisions these days start with the phrase, "I'm almost 50...." and i take that to heart - not because i feel old, but because i feel entitled. i've been at it a while here on earth, and have finally figured out that there is no "proper" way to live my life. i have spent years (49 to be exact) working and doing the "right" thing, the martyr thing at times. doing what needed to be done to get by, get ahead, get through. in this so-called Summer Of Becoming My Mother (see previous posts), i realized that she made her choices in life primarily based on survival. and although there was a peek through the veil towards liberation and coolness, without constant tugging and pulling, she was not going to risk upsetting the proverbial apple cart of her day-to-day. a rotten apple is still an apple. and she is comfortable where she is, so who am i to tell her to change or step through the looking glass? the difference is that i am NOT comfortable sitting in my little booth looking through the frosted glass, envious of those who are living their True Life. envy can easily turn to bitterness - a chemistry i've escaped, but don't want to dodge anymore. so rather than finding myself someday saying, "I'm almost 60..." or "...70...." and finding my taste for my true self has gone bitter, i am taking another step. actually, if you know my life with any intimacy, you'll realize that, for me, this is the triple-axle, lutz jump combination. today i will be asking the boss for part time hours, even if it means changing departments to the really really boring one. a M/W/F schedule will be most suitable, but i'll be flexible, since after December, it wil be a mon-sun ART-ONLY schedule. yikes! i said it out loud. my main sticking point has been worry that i won't make as much money at art as i do now with my Real Job. duh. then it struck me (okay - i take the short bus) SO WHAT?? and **gasp** what if i actually made more? say it ain't so. yes - i know it sounds shallow...an artist lives for their art at any cost, right. well, maybe if they have a rich patron. but the fact of the matter is that THIS artist does have some material needs and wants. like food, shelter and the like. so being craetive and talented is a given. loving art more than a hobby is a given. BEING an artist is a given. so those items weren't even on the pro/con list. i saw a show the other night (yes, a reality show) that follows medical students through their torturous residencies. they asked 1 guy why he did it...why he sacrificed sleep, food, his girlfriend 4 states away. he said he always knew he wanted to become a doctor. that it has been his passion and dream since he was a kid. so no matter how difficult things got, or how unsure of himself he sometimes felt, he still knew he was doing what he was meant to do. and that just struck me. i've known, at some level, that art was me and i was art. (coo-coo-ca-choo, walrus). when i was young, my friend Julie Fenster and I used to write plays and design elaborate sets in the laundry room of the apt building where i lived. we'd make the neighborhood kids be in the plays, and charge their parents to come see them. (the production company folded after arguments over ticket prices. she said a penny, i said a nickel. oy). so always being the oddball, but still somehow fitting in, i grew into the person i now am. i'm mostly happy. except for this part of me that clings to the rotten apple cart. (crud - now all i can hear is that Jackson 5 song "One Bad Apple") (sorry- now you're stuck with it too, aren't ya?). sorry. so maybe i will become my mother, but the Mom 5.0 version....the new & improved version has the filter reversed to keep the "Ordinary" OUT and the scary & exciting in. Still just as much work - maybe more. and the download is a bitch. but the picture is clearer. so light a candle, hug a tree, say a prayer, cross your fingers....whatever it is that you do to wish someone great good things - do this for me. and i will repay you. thanks. L.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

need some z's

i was not aware that a human could be THIS tired and still have functioning lungs and heart. when the husband is out of town, diva dog turns into a guard dog and barks at the slightest provocation...like a flea farting 2 blocks away. plus her tummy is NOT happy, having been on a hunger strike for days now. although i suspect she is supplementing with the Crunchy Crappy stuff i leave out 24/7 for her snacking enjoyment. so every 30 mins, just as i'm dozing off nicely, she starts in with her wolfdog/rottweiler impression. and because i'm just a wee bit paranoid - no, careful - from my 911 days, i sleep with a portable phone on hubby's empty pillow. i've wanted to call my old pals some nights and say "hey" just to have someone on the phone when the ax murderer comes around the corner to kill me. in real life, he'd probably slip on Big Stuffed Brown Bear and end up ax-ing himself. One night last year i must have grabbed the phone and fell asleep with it in my hand. when i woke up there was an open line and my fingers had pushed in numbers of someone's house. i wanted to call them back (at a decent hour) and apologize profusely, offering to send a child or 2 over to do chores for them. but i figured they'd endured enough of me for a while, so just let it be. *** it is now my "Team Leader's" turn to be out sick, and we've been bombarded with calls this week. 1 less bell to answer means more bells on my phone. next week, we'll all be crazy - 2 new people start, but 1 oldie leaves. there goes my window of opportunity for a relapse! i am going to have a talk with the Big Boss tomorrow about going part time. that will ease my husband into the fact that i'll be "no" time by january. happy birthday to me! it's just time. i've been going back & forth on this decision since i first decided 7 years ago. and it's just so dumb. i can think of no reason not to...not any reasons that feel genuine, anyway. and there's always radio! ah yes - getting up at dark o'clock...working in my pj's...and those fabulous "appearances" you do at used car lots where people walk up and say "i thought you'd be taller/thinner/shorter/heavier/prettier/younger/whatever." and i stifle my reply that i'd always assumed our listeners married outside their immediate families. huh. who knew. don't get me wrong - i LOVE radio. i do. and it's what i was born to do, 2nd to art. but that 2am wake-up call gets harder and harder every year. especially in the winter. BUT - at 9am, when i'm done for the day....YIPPEE SKIPEE! how do you like me now? so anyway, i'll save you from a protracted ramble to nowhere and just stop now. just wanted to touch base. and thank you Gail for calling. L.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

what i've been up to

normally i'm allergic to anything that smacks of "whimsy." artwise. whimsical, cute, sweet....any of these words will send me to the Testosterone Temple looking for a blowtorch to set things right. (in my OWN art). but this little creature came out of my hands a few weeks ago. She's part of a series, apparently, of Patron Saints. They are creating themselves (with the help of my hands) effortlessly and without regard to my No Whimsy Policy...clearly posted somewhere in the mess i call my studio. She is St. Ani Log - Patron Saint Of Too Much To Do. she has a very artworthy home to go to already, having established that fact with the 1st moment of her conception. if you've seen my studio, you know that conception was nowhere near immaculate. That's what happens when you let a Jewish girl loose in a studio filled with glue and doodads, and Patron Saints are afoot. i guess. well, half-Jewish. and here it's the High Holy Days...oy vey. so this must come from my mother's side, although there wasn't much religion in the bush country of Canada where she grew up. Joining her is The Patron Saint Of Speeed...St. O'Dometer. and soon to be finished - St. Aloe Purel...Cleanser Of The Soul. but vhat do i know, eh? so i just thought i'd catch you up quick....i'm still tryingto get diva dog to eat, and this will entail much bribery and eventually scrambled eggs. she's sulking & pouting in the closet now. sooo glad i do not have children. (of my own). i swear i'd be doing time somewhere. i should be doing Something artsy right now, but having struggled with my computer for THREE HOURS last night just made for a long day today. i would have launched it from the second floor, but husband rescued it in time. my ranting could be heard across the cul-de-sac. husband is out of town for 3 days and the urge to call in sick is overwhelming. seeing as how i'm on their last reserve nerve in that regard now, i'm not going to shake that hornet's nest. this week. although a relapse may not be out of the question. oh! oh! please read the post about the Birthday Cake Rodeo, and then answer this simple question: how wrong was it of my boss to inform me that Sunday is Julie's birthday, and should we get a cake for her fri or mon? note that she said "we." "WE" know that means "ME" and that particular request is so out of line that i felt completely justified in hanging up on her, stalking across the building to her office (where MY art hangs on her wall) and giving her the loudest glare i could muster. this was definately a 4-star Mom-glare. the laser glare of death. Be very afraid. i lifted an eyebrow for effect and stalked back to my desk in my cubby. Safe place Safe Place. somewhere in the back of my mind, i already know that i will be struggling with a 90-lb yellow cake with strawberry filling and 18-lbs of icing. along side a cake-lette. (big Charlie Brown sigh). the worst part is that the damn thing costs as much as it weighs, and last time everyone kicked in for it - not. no. this will not be my turn. every year at 911, i ended up SOMEHOW being the Secret Santa coordinator. the Jew, with her Jehovah Witness helper. how is that right?? and every year SOMEONE forgot it was Secret Santa day and forgot their gift to exchange. except the one year when someone was so outraged by their gift that they wanted to make a formal complaint - union rep & all. i was called in and was supposed to give up the names of who had who, so the proper person could be punished. all this over a can of freaking Spam. i told them that only Santa has the list and he's back at the North Pole, and that the gift-ee actually hadn't gotten their REAL Secret Santa gift....that the one they'd opened was from an anonymous elf and not part of the exchange. not only could i not believe i had to have that conversation with adults, i can't believe i'm boring you with it again right now. this birthday cake thing has gotten my mind going in treacherous directions. so i'm going to try to find diva and just give up the eggs at the beginning and save us both from the nightly hokey pokey of the whole dinner game. how about a patron saint of Please Doggie Eat Something So I won't Feel Guilty About Ignoring You While I glue Things Together For Hours On End? too long a name? i'll work on it. my mind is clearly in a jumble tonight, so i'll go now before i say something really crazy. hopefully i can come up with some Deep Thoughts for my next post to restore your faith in me. (geez, there's a whole religion theme going around here). okay bye. Linda

Sunday, September 16, 2007

august mom

my 2 favorite ladies...my mom & my Lake...from Our summer

yippee skipee!

i'll cut to the chase...i had 6 pieces accepted into Delavan Gallery for a February show, and they want more! I'm very excited about this...more so than i thought i'd be, mostly because it's my wet felting work. i haven't shown it before and wondered if it was just a Mother's Love that made them beautiful. my angel-friend is coordinating a show scheduled for March that will include my new assemblage work, and THAT has me humming with anticipation. that show promises to be very good. and very very special to me....being included in the company of some incredible artists & writers that i admire ....well, shoot! it's like the 1st time the older kids let you play kickball with them. i feel pretty...oh so pretty...i feel witty and ...you know the rest - hopefully, cause my menopausal brain doesn't. that's another good thing about perimenopause...people can confide in you with abandon, knowing you'll forget what they said a few minutes later. in fact my fear is that i'll sit down at my desk tomorrow morning and totally forget my computer login. i've forgotten my timeclock code before. my boss met me at The Clock the next morning "you forgot to clock out." i replied that CLEARLY i had indeed left the previous night, or i wouldn't be, once again, walked frontwards through the door, i would instead be exiting at that moment. adding that although the work was compelling & facinating (i lied) staying the night to complete it just was more pleasure than i deserved, so i had indeed gone home, and The Clock must be broken. i left there soon after. my current Big Girl job installed A Clock a few months ago...this one a little creepier...you punch in your Secret Code, then have to put your index finger on a little scanner thing. you have no ides how many times that darn Clock "breaks." i mean, one little mistake - wrong code, wrong finger...oy vey...such a bother. luckily THIS boss realizes that her bad kharma has brought me to be her employee, so she just martyrs it down with some Tums and fixes it. when SHE first said "you forgot to Clock out," i replied that I didn't Clock Out because i had, indeed, spent the night there because the work was so compelling. And when the endless volume of screaming, swearing callers dropped off around 8pm, i had randomly dialed phone numbers that i made up ASKING people if they felt there was anything in their life that was pissing them off, and invited them to verbally hurl it at me - use me as an emotional pinata of sorts. just so i wouldn't feel like i'd cheated the company out of all those hours of pay. and since i'd worked my 8 hours OVERNIGHT (despite there not BEING an overnight shift) i was, at that time, going home. she just said "i'll fix it," and walked away shaking her head muttering about managing the unmanageable. she called my desk 10 mins later to ask if i really was going home. i love her. one of us won't last. i'm hoping i don't make her too crazy. she "gets" me. and she's artworthy - i loaned her one of my best hand-dyed dupioni wallhangings for her office. anyway, i go back tomorrow after having had the week off. my boss says it's been boring there without me. i have my own swerve to the whole corporate thing...i play it like i see it. having spent more time than was necessary working at 911 and trying to talk Bad people out of doing Bad things (put down the gun, AGAIN,Morris...) and trying to talk Good people out of doing Bad things, i've learned that there is no script for dealing with people. especially angry or desperate people. you have to be real, be compassionate, and give them dignity & respect. that's where the Company & i are...a bit different. i've actaully made friends with people who started out mistaking my name for an act of incest. even though the 2 words are in no way similar phonetically or on paper. that's the best part of my job. for the most part, the company just let's me go at it. and i'm now The Voice. my broadcast experience has raised it's sleeping head again, and i am now the voice you hear on the phone when you call trying to get a LIVE PERSON to yell at. *** new thought** have you ever noticed how different days of the week have a different feel to them? there's a distinct "saturday" feeling day. and a definate "sunday" feeling day. and a sunday night feel. that's the feeling you get when you know time is slipping away from your "real" life and soon it will be time for your "other" life. this has been a constant source of irritation and consternation between me, myself and my husband. To his defense, when we met, i was in an artistic slump and had all but locked my studio and thrown away the key. he had no idea what it was like to be involved with an artist. i welcomed the diversion of our relationship, because it beat the usual frustration & depression i'd feel when i was in an artistic slump. to my defense, your honor, i DID tell him that i was done trying to split my time between art & "real" job and had planned to quit my lucrative but toxic dayjob. i'm not sure he heard that or understood that i would, indeed, be working ONLY as an artist as of January of that year. my cute townhouse was paid for, my car was paid for, i sold my motorcycle to pay off some nagging back taxes and i was livin lean. perfect! not to mention that i already had a steady stream of commissions waiting on my sewing table. after "i do" came the endless stream of expenses....his kids needed braces, his kids needed blah blah blah. and having the martyr gene, i continued past my january deadline. fast forward 7 years....same argument, different "need." yes i know - i can heeaar you. and i've made the same argument myself. they are YOUR kids. with a perfectly good mother making buckets of money and well able to split the expenses with. so where is the line? to even try to explain the whole art=life equation to a man with little art appreciation is just too tiring. work=money ... more work=more money. that's the math he gets. and it isn't just him, to be fair. it's difficult to understand why someone would trade "things" for life as an artist. some people think we're lazy...so all you do is sit home and glue rusty things to wood? snort. or this is my favorite : why can't you just work on your hobby on the weekends like everyone else? not to bash hobbies, but this isn't a HOBBY. this is who i am. if i had said i am a doctor, people would say Oh that's great. or a secretary. or whatever. but "artist" has replaced "stay-at-home-mom" in the so-called slacker annals of wifery. to NOT be an artist (whatever that is) is to not be myself...to not allow myself life. (as a sidenote...why are people so casual about the term "starving artist?" would you ever say "starving salesman" or "starving podiatrist??") so it comes down to this every time: do i let my life be a performance piece entitled "the good wife" or do i just, once & for all, say enough. i gotta be what i gotta be, and not feel selfish about it. not feel guilty when the boat catalogs come in the mail and my husband reads them as avidly as a 16-year old with a Playboy. so here's a point to ponder....why do i feel like i wouldn't be able to match my meager Real Job salary if i worked as an artist? what if i supplemented sales with giving workshops? i LOVE giving workshops! why not do that? so did i marry a man who's expectations of how Things Should Be would allow me to be afraid to leap, but have someone else to blame on that fear? maybe. maybe not. my girlfriend Gail (who hasn't called in a while, so if you're reading this Gail.....)has a lab-created husband. i've mentioned this before. when he NOTICED (on his own) that her sewing room was bulging at the, well, seams, did he say "you need to get rid of some of that crap." nope...Lab Created Husband said "i will take my hammer and these nails and I will make you a place, a haven, for you to create and be happy. I will call this place Your New Studio and i will love you even more." or something like that. so now here's the part that will make everyone gnash their teeth with envy and awe at this Man Who Shall Be Honored....Your New Studio used to be called **gasp**drum roll** the GARAGE. yes folks - the Man Place, the Testosterone Temple of Tools. he actually, willingly, unselfishly made his garage into her studio. ahhh oohhh...women worship you Mr Gail's Husband! we will take turns brushing off your car in the winter in thanks for returning our faith in all men. or at least the possibility of men. yes, Gail works. She works harder than I could imagine working. and she's self employed, so if she calls in sick, she doesn't get to use a sick day to cover the fact that she's in the zone on a project and can't fathom the idea of breaking the spell. or actually sick. but the point here is that HE GETS IT, and by giving her the freedom to Be Gail, he gets the best Gail there is in exchange. And even a mediocre Gail is pretty damn good. so i guess that presents another set of questions: 1) what is my husband willing to give up in his personal life to achieve his goal of owning a boat? 2) is either of us satisfied with a mediocre ME, because without art, that's the best it gets. 3) why do i feel like i have to sacrifice in order for these dreams to happen? for the record, my Lake gives me life. to stand by the shore and commune with her is beyond what i can express. however, i don't swim in anything but a pool, where the creepiest thing you might find is a bug (a small bug) and sitting on a boat all weekend every weekend is beyond what i could tolerate. not to mention that we live in Central New York State where winter is 13 months long. so if we even got this boat, the use would be limited, and i would find myself alone in my studio on weekends feeling guilty, or sitting green-faced on this boat feeling put out, wishing i was home alone in my studio on terra firma. we went to St. Thomas on our honeymoon. i gamely tried to snorkel, much to the delight of the locals watching me freak out as i tried to back peddle my way OUT of the water after seeing a huge school of fish headed toward me. i was in 3-feet of water and only needed to stand up, but panic changes things. we then went on a snorkel/scuba excursion, where my husband saw a shark and after alerting the dive captain to it's presence, exclaimed "cool!" and began to chase it. i was on the boat with a very heavy asthmatic man, both of us deep in prayers & promises to God asking for relief. who knew you could get seasick by being IN the water? (the shopping was great though later on). i am a different person now, and when we go back in February, i'll probably try to snorkel again, but this time with no locals around chumming the waters with Milkbones to watch me freak. different goals. different dreams. easily compromised with the right people. which brings up yet another question: are we the right people for each other? that one's too scary to ponder (again) right now, so i'll just sit here envious of Gail-who-never-calls instead. Got that Sunday feeling...time for a bagel and the paper, then some rusty metal. life can be very good. L.

Friday, September 14, 2007

about those new years resolutions...

i know you'll skip thru this looking for medical mystery answers, so i'll get it out of the way right away so you may actually read the rest: follow-up TV Sono showed nothing. no mass left. no lump or bump or boll weevil or thing to grab my ankle from under the bed at night. so we will visit other possibilities. for now, i will take some time away from all the disinfectant thoughts. but please know that my truest heartfullest thanks are sent out to you who listened to me rant, whine, rail, deny, and otherwise be less than my best self these past few days (or so). thank you. really & truly thank you. now...on to other things. sort of. on the way to the sono, i hit a little Judy Collins, hoping for that earthiness to rub off and send this scared child away with it's figurative woobie. hmm. no - that didn't seem right....to calmly accept what may be the unacceptable with a shrug and a martyr's tired smile. not today. sorry judy babe...what i needed was some soul wrenching, gut curdling, primal screaming Evanessence. oh yeah. no peacenik, tie-dyed, folksy gauze skirt-wearing for Amy. nuh uhn honey. so i can imagine what i looked like as i drove my plain Amish-black Saturn down the road...windows down, goth-rage/christian music turned up to 11 on the dial...side view mirrors vibrating...air guitar alternating with air drums....looking for all the world like a PTA mom who drank the orange KoolAid. the Lone Wolf howls. and growls. and is singing loudly and very off-key. i pick up the song where i left off as i leave the radiology place - where Jack is STILL trying to chug-a-lug the same obnoxious mixture i drank for lunch last week. difference is, his is a surprise treat - no one warned him. i worried this morning that i would flunk this sono test...Diva dog has been extra clingy - surely she knows something. in fact this morning when i crawled back in bed for 5 mins to wake up husband, she wedged her little body down between us and hugged me. attempts to move her were unsuccessful...even the feet-moving-under-the-covers trick didn't do it. diva still has a few "issues" from her before-she-lived-with-me-days. she's afraid of feet under the covers, umbrellas, and laundry. and most men. i can understand the aversion to the laundry and understand about some men, but she will sooner take on the neighbor's Rottie than stay in the same room while i fold laundry. luckily this fear is rarely realized. so anyway, when i got home, i realized we both deserved a Big Walk. no point in spelling it anymore - she knows what i'm spelling. as we walked the Short Path over the dock, thru the Echo Echo Tunnel (where she likes to bark) and thru the Beechwoods past the Monkey Tree, i realized once again how incredible my life has been. not just the amazingly good things, but how the beyond-comprehension bad things have shaped my life and my Spirit. having spent 3 of my most prime years paralyzed with no warning, i learned to be patient with those who may walk slower than me, talk slower, have trouble in some fashion "keeping up." it taught me that the woman wearing the sweats with unwashed hair at the grocery store may be on her first outing alone after facing who-knows-what. in general, it taught me tolerance with many, and also to have no respect for those who belittle or bully or tease. i'm apt to get medieval all over those folks. having to work 3 jobs at a certain time in my life taught me, well, how to work hard. and to appreciate so much - time, "things" and opportunities. and also when "enough" is plenty, and "more than enough" is more than you need. my friend's grandma used to say "what good are 2 punkins anyways if all ye needs one? it'll just rot." so sometimes "enough" IS "enough." from my beloved Kita, i learned yet more patience as he trained me to be a good mom to him, and later patient caretaker, stair-helper, hand-feeder, rug cleaner, and on. such pride, he had, that scolding served no purpose. such love that it would hurt me more than do any good. now Diva...oy! my special needs puppy girl. all she wants is her pretty pink collar, some cheese, and a squirrel to play with. yeah - right. she wants it all! she wants to be held 24/7...to lick lick lick my face, hands, eyes...but not the feet! she'll sit for hours while you spa-girl her with her special brush. (Target...$1). so all these things and so much more lolled lazily through my head as i wandered the familiar path with her. thoughts of my dear dear friends of the heart. my angel friends. how incredibly lucky i am. or blessed. or both. as fall approaches, i usually do a check of how i'm doing on my new years resolutions. usually not so good. this year...not so bad. 2 things left on the list: learn to Latin dance, and learn to play steel drums. actually, those were the only things on the list this year. being unable to provide peace on earth, lottery momey to the homeless, and unwilling to lose weight/quit smoking/finally learn to use makeup properly, i decided this was the year to have fun. so lo and behold....i get home and there's a flyer in the mailbox from a dance instructor! so look out Gloria Estefan....here comes Salsa Momma! oh - and the third thing was another tattoo. still trying to find an awesome picture of a Phoenix....most looked like a chicken being tortured. so enough rambling for now...to much coffee, and missed my nap. i hate when that happens. maybe a mind-CLEARING walk alone this time, to re-focus on some unfinished business in my studio. did i say thank you to y'all who have stood by on alert this past week with me? maybe, but definately not enough. once more? Thank you. to the moon and back....L

crispy mornings

somewhere amidst my dreamfilled travels in the night, just after i was gazing at Red Rock, but before i could build the Dream House, tickling whiskers brushed by cheek. then, just in case, a tentative paw tapped my eye. diva dog. any movement would trigger a bounty of tail-wagging and effusive joy, so i tried to lay still. no luck...i'm convinced she can read my mind and sensed my dreamthoughts turning to daythoughts. a rough tongue tries to pry open my eyelids. okay - i'm up. 5:30 am. diva! i know - if she had thumbs she could open the door herself and go out. >sigh< i hit the "on" button and the smell of coffee follows us out to the deck. we're the only ones in the world....scraps and bits of ideas catwalk in front of my thoughts...this? how about this? part of a Bruce Cockburn song weaves it's way into the show...."I've been scraping little shavings off my ration of light/ and i formed it into a ball/ and each time i pack a bit more on to it/ i make a bowl of my hands and i scoop it from its secret cache under a loose board in the floor/ and i blow across it and i send it to you/ against those moments when the darkness blows under your door." there it is. the quiet nudge. the gentle voice. the perfumed blossom so sweet that you'd walk a thousand paths searching for it- nose testing the air for direction. my Idea. well, i say "my" idea, but to be honest with you i don't know who's idea it is. i can't imagine an ordinary person like me who lives in an ordinary house on an ordinary street could claim ownership of Ideas such as the ones that guide my hands and speak to my spirit. not Linda Jenn, who insisted upon wearing her pleated skirt backwards in kindergarten. not Linda Jenn who tried to do magic and cracked open her best friend's head when the "magic" carpet didn't slide from beneath her 4-year old feet. not Linda Jenn who has had so many different jobs from shoe shine girl to police dispatcher. no...these Ideas come from Somewhere Else.....Someone Else. and i accept the Gift of them gladly and willingly....eagerly. it's not that i'm insecure about myself (no "suffering from low-self-esteem" like it was constipation or a bad headache)....it's just that at the moment of inspiration - that flash of an instant in time - i feel as though a Gift is being handed to me....a special spark being placed in my spirit. and that spark will guide me through boxes and containers and drawers of "stuff" until the right "stuffs" gel together to make Art. it is a Divine feeling (in the true sense of the word...not the "dahling, you look divine" sense). during those moments when i try to grab a wisp of it by the hand, to hold it in front of me to get a better look...during those moments, be they a minute or 10 or 20, the world stands still. diva dog seems to be on her very best invisibility behavior....breezes hush...just my Idea and i standing face to face holding hands and learning one another....testing the mettle...cautiously asking myself if i'm up to this challenge....not moving, lest it vanish. when i've gained all i can from the Moment, it's studio time. now, at 5:30 am, i can tell you 2 things are true: the light from 10 Daylight flourescent light fixtures can scare away an eclipse , and 2) when your studio door is across from your bedroom door - music is not appreciated by the still-slumbering husband. (although the snoring will drown out some genres). last night, after 7 years, my neighbor finally got up the nerve to ask what the deal was with the BRIGHT light that bursts from my upper window that faces her bedroom window and blinds them awake at the oddest hours. i told her i was making adult films, and the light was necessary for the camera work. (well, okay - i wanted to. but instead i said "i'm an artist" and let that ride. the film thing probably would've been more acceptable - at least it was an income, right? ). a cup of coffee, a busy bone for diva, and up to the studio. mmmm - my Idea is following like silk tendrils. when i'm working, i sometimes picture myself with long flowing hair that needs to be pinned back, wearing Stevie Nicks-ish clothing....my inner gypsy. it's always a surprise when i catch a look in the mirror and see short hair and a pink bathrobe, or splotchy t-shirt. my hand goes immediately to my new plastic container marked "small metal." (a result of my recent purge/organize binge). i pull a small cheese grater thing from the bin. i remember buying this at a flea market and wondering why i was doing so...it was metal, but not rusty, not really interesting - just a very small cheese grater thing. sort of like a metal file with a concave side. what would i use it for?? and it was the dreaded silver. hmmm...it all becomes clear ....scraping little shavings....cheese grater cum file....the synchronicity of it all is just so humbling.....6 months ago the Idea knew it's time was coming, and the materials for it urged themselves into my hand. not just the cheese file...but the box it's going in, and several other items that will be a part of this piece - i remember finding/buying each one, and can tell you that each and every time i brought the items home, it was with a shake of my head thinking, "what's up with this?" there's magic to be had at 5:30 am. if you don't believe me, ask my cardinal outside. L.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

blessings and backaches

despite all the medical missteps and blunders this week, it has been such a blessing to be home with diva dog in my studio. last friday when the doc told me to get ready for a long week, i went out and bought a book or 3. i finished Water For Elephants in about a day (wonderful, rich, takes-you-there writing, but some disturbing parts). Then i read another Paulo Coelho book. then i started "Living The Creative Life." i say "started" because it is so wonderful & inspiring and "hey! That's ME!" on every page, that i can't rush through it. so i'm NOT the only one with real-job vs art-as-a-job issues. I'm NOT the only one who's found most weekends in the same ripped T-shirt and jeans slaving over some piece of art! the interviews are fantastic - the book answers questions that i'd ask other artists if i had the chance. hunh....i guess i'm not as odd as i thought! gotta try harder. this is just a quickie - gotta lay down. to those of you who have been following - still no answer. both arms look like a swiped at them with a purple sharpie (bruises). still pain but not as bad. hemmorhaging stopped. so tomorrow is another day and hopefully will bring answers. in any case, at least it's been good to spend time with diva. L

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

healing nature

yesterday, i finally had to stop the focus and choas surrounding my physical state, and get re-centered and renewed. i tookdiva dog to the woods, and figured i'd walk as far as i was able. we have a few different familiar, yet everchanging, paths we take. today we'd make an attempt at the short one. she's been at my side for days and needed to get out as well. i vowed not to waste a second of my outing, not knowing how long or short it would be. the smells and sounds greeted me instantly, welcoming me back like an old friend that been sorely missed....enveloping me in the tenderness of the seasonal change...summer yielding to fall, both in evidence, a gentle turning of the cycle. as summer's blazing sun and lush greens nod to silouetted tree limbs and the first falling leaves on my path, i inhaled the piney scent of my woods. crow-messengers seemed to have an extra volume of news to impart, and the squirrels dizzy with the task before them raced about - abandoning fear as they run across the path right in front of us, full-cheeked with winter larder. diva dog loves squirrels and refuses to chase them, much to my husband's dismay. the last perfumed whiffs from a garden near the edge of my path are heady, making me regret not planting a garden this year. next year for certain. as i pass the Monkey Tree, a shower of nutshells hits the ground...i never did see what was tossing them down, but it seemed intentional and precise...as squirrels approached the tree, the shells would drop down on them as well. the owl heard throughout the night previous was hidden somewhere - not to be found in the light of day. breathe in, breathe out. peacefullnes, like honey, oozes around every cell in my being...filling in the gaps, wrapping me in a sweetness in my spirit. calm. able to re-focus and do battle - not in chaos, but in certainty of mind and spirit. once again the communication is open. the art follows. L

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

another medical mystery

well, another day, another update. >sigh< the nurse called this morning, and the long & short of it is ....the dr never read the notes, never connected me with the patient that the nurse had briefed him on last friday....never listened to me. the nurse that was in the room for the exam yesterday was so upset she went to the NP and told her she didn't feel right about the diagnosis before i had even called. the problem started because i had taken my sono films with me when i went to another location for the CAT scan. the radiologist was not able to prepare his "official" notes without the films, but the NP had written them in the file. the NP called me 1st thing this morning blazing mad and will be calling back shortly. back to square 1, but this time i'm angry and not in the mood to be trifled with. i've lost confidence in him and will not allow him to treat me. i learned a good lesson: get LOUD. make sure someone goes with you who is on the same page as you and gets loud if you can't. now, i'm going to shower, take a walk and enjoy the blessings of the first peeks of fall with my lovely diva dog. breathe. ahhh. L

Monday, September 10, 2007

fears & frustrations

most of you know by now the health scare i'm facing. i'd hoped to be able to use the past tense "faced" by now, but it just keeps rolling on. my GP said she saw a mass in my lower back area but wasn't curious enough to actually take action. ibuprofen and call me if it gets worse. (worse than it was would be unimaginable). my nurse practitioner at my gyn office flipped out and sent me for an astounding round of tests and practically threw me under a surgeon's knife that day. cat scans that showed nothing, sono's that showed the mass loud & clear, internal exams that couldn't locate my ovary but did show my uterus way up under my ribcage and fluid all around my midsection. i won't get into the bodily fluids portion. she sent me home for the weekend with a stern warning to call if anything changed, and a script for percocet. she advised me to build up my stamina because we had a long week ahead of us. i had a monday appt with the doc. and maybe the surgeon. she was already weighing the pros & cons of 2 good surgeons. i went home scared - no terrified - but strangely at peace knowing this pitbull of a woman was my advocate. today, i saw the doc. not just any doc - the alleged God Of Gyno...the premier A #1 man you want in your corner if your fight is against an oncological gynocological problem. at least that was what the newspaper articles all said. after a few brief moments and a scant glance at the cat scan only, he pronounces my problem to be muscular/skeletal.....a common backache. what about the mass? the hemorrhaging? the OTHER tests? the other 2 health care professionals that deemed my body worthy of an audience with you? no answers forthcoming. a basic, "that's my story and i'm sticking to it." i left the office so enraged i could spit. i remembered a time when, in the middle of a blizzard, my pediatrician cross-country skied to our house because there was word of the mumps. (remember mumps?) i remember another dr doing blazing battle with his HMO bosses to fight for me to get treatment for my paralysis. i remember the nurse practitioner, just last friday, leaving her lunch meeting to find me out front and talk to me about the tests....and actually hug me. just exactly where has the "care" gone in health care? why is it that new doctors have to take classes in compassion, and only now because "studies show that dr's that are more compassionate get sued less." i see the backlash of "no compassion" in my job every day. it hurts me, but i do my best to make it right - to lessen the rage. i treat each person with the respect and dignity that they deserve as a human being...even if they've just (in utter frustration with their situation) called me a vile name. so i wish i had good news to report. for the record, i know this is in no way a backache, and i intend to try to find someone who cares enough to stop for a moment and listen and study the tests and maybe prove me right ...or maybe prove me wrong. but at least be willing to sit and prove it to me. earn my respect and trust. sorry for the rant. i just felt like it. L

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

the big house

the house feels big now. yes...i'm still transitioning. i come home to dinner being cooked. for 2. eat in? or on the deck? the deck it is. diva dog is back, but on her best behavior...still getting used to the smells of home vs grandma's. her friend smokey joins us as we eat dinner, along with his humans - including baby Julianna who belongs to the entire neighborhood. we welcome the non-interruption, and insist they stay while we finish dinner. our cul-de-sac is really a large family. we all watch out for each other, the kids belong to everyone. unless there's a bad diaper involved. as each house sends a child off to college, or marriage, these new children have become even more precious. little matt (dad is big matt) is just a sprout - all rugged and ready to get wet/dirty with whatever boy activity is going on. never mind that he's not even pre-school age....he's like a little man. his sister Juliana - just born. we stood outside her house the day of the c-section wondering "what we got." she's tiny and wonderful and has the sweet lovely smell only a baby can have. this one family has changed the street. we've mostly been close knit. but this one family has filled a gap. a bud for my husband and son, babies for the women to ooo and ahh over. mom is sweet and wonderful. still learning to be be a mom in all the chaos her household offers. and of course, smokey the wonder dog - diva's best friend. all this friendship and family-ness helps fill up our house. i have been so blessed in my life - truly all of it....even the really bad times. without the truly horrible moments, i would now be less of a person, i believe. without the struggles and hopeless days, i would never have learned grace and acceptance and appreciation for the Moments. times when every star aligns and every bit of magic dust falls right in my eyes and upon my head. the dragonfly that perched on my hand. the butterfly that walked with me. the man that held the door for me last winter when i was at my wits end and it was only 7:30am. little moments....and big moments. all accepted and folded into the batter as equal parts of the recipe. hoping they will make the not-so-good moments sweeter. i seek out and store up those Moments to have in reserve for the times when a little sweetener is needed. for now, i'll listen as Juliana cries for mom 2 doors away, and neighbors visit in the driveways and smile at my good fortune...that although my inside family is shrinking, my outside family is growing. L.

Monday, September 03, 2007

aimless wandering

left on my own for a wakeup call, i slept in - 7am. i slid out of bed quietly so as not to disturb my husband, paused at the top of the stairs to listen for the deep snores that would tell me the creak in the top step wouldn't wake him. soon, the delicious smell of coffee brewing brought the day's first smile. a steaming mug in hand, i retraced and repeated the stop-and-listen process till i was once again in the womb of my studio. today i must create. i stood before my now-organized boxes and plastic containers of "stuff." waiting. listening with my spirit. looking for an object to stand out...to catch a vibration of excitement of it's possibilities. nothing. i caressed the variegated silk and netting i bought just last night with high hopes of beginning my Orange Koi. nothing. no urgings. n o calls to "pick me! pick me!" back down the stairs and outside. surely nature will inspire me. i watch the birds fly to the feeder, cock their heads at me - friend or foe, they seem to wonder- then fly off to other business, only to be replaced by another. envious of their purposefullness, i once again head upstairs. still nothing. i miss my diva dog...she's still at Camp Grandma's. she would be buggin' and tuggin' to go for a w-a-l-k. perhaps i'll head out for a good long walk. i'm frustrated that i've had 3 full days to work on a project and have made little use of the time. angry at my body for allowing this current torment in. the walk may do my soul good, but it's sure to come with a hefty price on my flesh. as i try to go about my normal activities and push through the pain, it tires me even more. at first i was grateful for it....it helped me realize the pain my kita had been in, and i now am able to have peace about the decision i had to make. the timing of this is not lost on me - a year to the day is when this began. i still miss him - calling my diva dog by his name by accident from time to time. remembering his sweet soul. at my old house, there was little in the way of heat that reached my bedroom in the winter. often, he'd lay on my belly to keep me warm, falling asleep as he licked my chin,, his soft little muzzle tickling me. he kept that sweetness for all of his 18 years. to an "outsider" (anyone but me) he was annoying and a constant barker. was quick to let you know he didn't like you. stubborn...oh was he stubborn. but a good friend, and a wise twin to my spirit. yes, the decision was right and kind. i have no doubt. i sometimes wish i'd done better by him, but i was a different person then, so i guess i did my best. but meanwhile, i'm sure happy to have known him. i was thinking about Narcissus last night...at the beginning of the book, The Alchemist, the story takes a different turn with the tale. you know the story - the boy Narcissus gazes at himself in the lake everyday till one day he falls in and drowns. well, in the book, the woods and the lake have a conversation about how beautiful Narcissus was and the lake replies that it will miss him because in his eyes, the lake was able to see it's own reflection back. i posted about this story earlier, so won't go off rambling about it now, but that was how it was with kita. if i was nervous or stressed or flinging out bad energy, he'd reflect that. if i was calm and peaceful, he'd give that back. it was easy to gauge what i was sending out into the world by paying attention to my fluffy little radar. so i guess, along with aimless wanderings through my studio, i've also been aimlessly wandering through this post...picking up little fragments of ideas here and there and putting them down...no real connection, just random thoughts. maybe this was meant to be one of those random weekends. september promises to be a busy one, and november as well. maybe this weekend was about clearing, cleaning, relaxing. whether i wanted it to be or not! i'm thinking of that walk now, and listening for the pattern of snores to see if i can once again creep down the stairs and have the world to myself on the big walk through the woods and across the dock and around the lake. who knows - maybe a butterfly will hitch a ride with me again. happy labor day y'all! L.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

empty nests and feathered friends

the mornings are cooler now as i sip my first cup of steaming coffee on the deck and spend some time with my thoughts and my winged muses in the backyard. the steam fogs my glasses momentarily as i take a sip. my cardinal wakes me up promptly at 5:30...his 1-note call insistent from the tree branch outside my bedroom window. he continues till he sees me reappear on the deck...sometimes alone, sometimes with diva dog. she seems to annoy him as much as he annoys her... she stands at the edge of the deck scolding him till he flies to the nearest tree calling back to her. luckily she tires of the battle quickly, and i'm left to my thoughts and the wranglings of the squirrels. today, i am alone on the deck, and the blue jays try to taunt away anyone else who would dare approach the feeder. bold brash birds, are those. my beautiful finches have begun to shed their blazing golden feathers for a more modest suit of browns and greys...fall - and soon winter - is approaching. the air is crisp in the mornings. a cozy sweater needed to wrap up in. the moon peeks out much earlier. the change of seasons. the earth's continuum. life repeating the endless cycle. my studio purge has left clean flat surfaces - it's been a while since my worktable has been this organized! old friends now put in labeled bins where they wait to be considered for the next project. it's been weeks since that's happened. at first i worried that i was beginning a cycle of the dreaded Artist Block. now i realize that rather than having a lack of ideas, it was quite the opposite - too many all fighting to come to the forefront for consideration, resolution, transformation and completion. i tend to move to fiber in the fall and winter. not sure why. it just is. i no longer try to force it back or figure it out. it just is. so i listen and move forward. currently i'm being nagged at by Orange Koi. everywhere i go - and in the most obscure reference points - Orange Koi. i've had an idea percolating for about a year now. Orange Koi. but with spring and summer came rusty metal and wood. but now (Jaws music please) we're back to Orange Koi. swimming languidly and patiently in my mental muse file. she is now growing and taking over. so Orange Koi it will be. i still have a few unresolved rusty metal issues to deal with, but perhaps some work with my Koi will help. passages and changes. yesterday marked a significant passage. my husband and i took his son to college. his first year. this has not been a wonderful year with Youngblood (as i call him). he was dealing with his own passages and changes, and was absolutely miserable to be around. not completely grown, but thinking so. as his struggles went raging, so too were my husband's. they are close. locked in constant battle as only a father and son could be, yet cut from the same cloth. a fight against oneself. i watched from the sidelines as they tried to find common ground, only to re-engage. i smiled to myself as i replaced their images with those of my mother and i. each yearning for that hug and reassurance, yet too prideful to step forward...too afraid to show weakness...too scared to look at the other to think how alike we really were. these two resolve issues much quicker, being men. no residual deep thoughts and contemplations about this or that. just the battle for supremacy, then an hour of tossing a lacrosse ball back & forth out front. at some point during the summer, Youngblood and is mom had a falling away. i knew some details, but let it stay in the "family"....preferring to be Sweden in this issue. i asked, from time to time, if he was nervous about going away to school. i told him saturday morning as he played his guitar rather than packing, that we had another tenant coming in and he must vacate within the hour. a little humor to light the fire. his dad paced in the garage, fuming about his son being such a procrastinator. i held a mirror to him and asked him where he thought the child had learned that? i reminded Big Daddy that within the space of 1 day, he'd be missing those very same traits, and threatened violence if he didn't redirect his melancholy away from the path of least resistance - anger. works every time. he's more afraid of a long drawn-out philosophical discussion than any threatened whooping. (which, for the record, has never been delivered). the kids became accustomed to me threatening their dad with obscure and impossible punishments. "i will strap wings of wax to you and throw you from the roof" .... "i will call my uncle Frankie The Snail and we'll see how important it is for you to go golf/hunt/whatever today." you get the point. so back to saturday morning. the last chance they have to argue on common turf, with roles unchanged....still father and son living under one roof. still dependant and protector. the safety net still firmly tied in place, allowing for practiced flights with no consequence. finally....we are able to leave. mom and sister will meet us there. oh the joys of steps and halfs and ex's. 2 cars everywhere. so silly. somewhere just past Junius Ponds but before the first Rochester exit, during a pause in Dave Matthews Greatest Hits, Youngblood says, "i t just hit me that you guys will be going home tonight, but I won't." uh oh. a chill panic started to set in - like a cat who's realizing that the warm bubbly wet stuff in the sink is for THEM. was that a pin i heard dropping? after a year of listening to bold assertations about how he was going to turn the college on it's ear, he was suddenly realizing what a big planet it actually was. i'll skip the details of the day's activities, which were masterfully orchestrated by the college. the Final Moment came, and Big Daddy's chin began to quiver, eyes flooded, as he hugged his son for the last time as dependant and provider. i'd already secretly bawled my eyes out - surprising myself greatly. i'd watched Youngblood grow from age 11. from a chubby little kid to lean athletic man-child. i know he'll do good. he's a born leader, and once you get past all the blarney, has a gentle heart. or at least a good one. just one look at him with his little half-sister tells it all. he bought her a little pink Dora The Explorer hat to remember him by while he's away. she'll grow into it. now who'da thunk he'da thought of that? so this morning, i sit on my deck alone. no diva dog chasing the birds away, no loud music stepping on my last reserve nerve, no tense words about cleaning a bedroom getting caught in the screen door....just me and my mug of coffee, now cold and needing refilling. a strange feeling. and who knows what tenant will move in to fill the vacuum? L.