Wednesday, January 31, 2007
if you're a new reader to my blog....welcome! i'm honored! please go into the archive section and start at the beginning, though..."saying goodbye." it's worth the effort, and most of the best stuff starts there! the most current stuff seems to be rants on life....the older stuff is more delicious.........L
at 9:07 AM
Monday, January 29, 2007
i stole this quote...don't tell.... The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God's idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am and all that He wants me to be. -Elisabeth Elliot
at 9:42 PM
Sunday, January 28, 2007
so the hoo-ha over the underage drinking party in our house while we were on vacation is over. my stepchildren will be Amish till March 1st. this whole event was a culmination of issues that were brought to the surface and spewed out before us to sort through and repair, clean up, or discard. habits to be tossed. attitudes to take ownership of and change. decisions to make about what to allow in and what to keep out. ideas and ideals. morals and behaviors. ground zero. starting over. "are you with me, or against me?" there was a certain satisfaction in the "i told you so" department of my head (3rd floor...handbags, luggage, and ladies lingerie) when my stepson looked my husband in the eye incredulously and demanded to know why this was a problem - that he'd been partying for a few years and thought my husband knew. but it broke my heart to see the look on husband's face - he had trusted his son to always do the right thing, and given him freedoms accordingly. much like finding out your partner has been having an affair. so the entire family has been stripped raw - down to basics, with no rose-colored glasses. each examining themselves and one another. what we thought was there, turns out was not. the lights came on too soon in the spook house ride. that brought me back to my continuing and insistant thoughts of "who am i?" not an easy question. at first, trying to define it, i had a list of roles that i played in my daily life....wife, stepmother (or stepmonster, as the case may be), clerk, puppy mom, daughter...etc. but are any of those roles "WHO" i am? what do i mean by who? i guess it means my essence. and if that's the definition i work by, then i guess "who" can only be defined as "how." how i react to a situation. or a person. or the sweet smell from the white-budded apple blossoms in the spring. or how the sight of Lake Ontario takes my very soul and flies with it. how i feel like a natural woman. my spiritual core. i envision myself as a kathryn hepburn-esque type inside. definately not what is projected. but why? is it to protect myself? my heart? what? if it's protection, then why bother at all? why keep your jewels in a box? that's like storing away the "good" china....why bother having it if no one can enjoy it? so the protection angle doesn't seem right. maybe i'm living a life that is not mine - a life of neccesity, rather than of truth. that rings a bit more true. at the thought of this morsel, my breath is gone. my brain started the wheels grinding....what is truth? what is real? what is me? much to think about...some things too scary....all exciting. ....L.
at 12:43 PM
Friday, January 26, 2007
the original intention of this blog was to make a few moments of life a little more thoughtful, a little more 3D, a little more colorful. to share how i look at the world (however skewed that may be sometimes!) and to be able to put down in words, all the wonderful and not-so-wonderful things going on in my life. the past few months have been an incredible trial...losing Bear, then Nikita, marriage struggles, step-kid struggles, and the usual change of season yukkies. i have gone from having my art wrapped tightly around me like a cozy bathrobe, to finding no inspiration whatsoever, then back again. nothing compares to the past 7 days, however. the mental and physical agonies of breaking this nicotine addiction have surpassed anything i've encountered in my life. if you've just met me in the past 15 years, you can't imagine how the previous 15 went! when i was 23, i woke up one morning with crushing pain in my left arm and right elbow. 3 hours later, i was paralyzed. it stayed that way through 3 years of intense and excruciating physical therapy. even the slightest touch on my arm or hand was like being set on fire. i was told i'd never walk or use my hands again. i fought and fought and am completely back to "normal." i tell you this so you underatnd that i am a fighter...a survivor of whatever life has to throw at me. 25 years ago, i walked away from a $1000/week cocaine habit without a second look back. just woke up one morning and said "i'm not going to do this anymore" and didn't. but this nicotine habit...it's a different beast altogether. yesterday i got an email from a friend telling me of the impending death of another...just hours away from death, his body ravaged by lung cancer. and still, i craved. my husbands friend ...another cancer victim from chewing tobacco....about to have part of his tongue cut away. and still i craved. i have cancer running at me from both sides of my family. and still i crave. last night i woke up every 2 hours - my body screaming for nicotine. i caved in. i smoked. was it satisfying? yes and no. i will try again. i know that i can make it at least 7 days. next time, perhaps i'll re-try some of the things that i've tried before - patch, gum, etc. it makes me wonder....they have treatment facilities for alcoholics and drug addicts - why none for smokers? i regret that my hair and clothes and car and hands and breath will smell like the back of a Greyhound bus (or greyhound dog, for that matter). i regret that my life will be measured in 2 hour increments - when will i be able to take a quick smoke break? i regret that i will be self-concious when i kiss my husband. and that my little dog will sneeze when she follows me into the bathroom where i smoke. and that i won't be able to run with her without wheezing. i regret all these things - not to mention the cost financially. but of all the things that life has thrown at me - this one has stuck. i will try again tomorrow. day by day. hour by hour. L.
at 8:15 AM
Thursday, January 25, 2007
well i made it another smoke-free day....but just by the skin of my teeth. a "dear" "friend" (?) emailed me to remind me that she had zero cravings after just 3 days and never looked back. she also reminded me that she gained 50 pounds. this is serious cause for pause. it's not that i care about a person's size/shape etc...even mine...it's just that i cannot afford a new wardrobe right now. i just got the new-sized one. anyway, i have a 4-paw fuzzy waiting somewhat impatiently for me on my pillow, and i need to sleep before i eat or smoke, so say a prayer for me and we'll see what happens next! linda
at 10:10 PM
so it's either day 5 or day 6 - depending on how you count....i have been smokefree since last friday at 11pm. this has been the most difficult week of my life. and it continues to be still. yesterday was a very good day, with just mild cravings every 4 hours or so....nothing i couldn't just flick away. today, though, i feel like i'm back at day 3...moments of intense cravings. checking old ashtrays around the garage. found 1 butt - not even a butt, just a 1-drag stub from last summer. thought very seriously of firing it up. threw it out in the snow. i know if i leave the house today, i will stop at a convenience store. since they don't sell just one cigarette, i'd have to buy a pack, and you know where this is going. so i sit here in my pj's at noon-37, hair all wet, sweat pants drooping....if i get dressed, i'll go out. if i go out, i'll buy cigarettes. my friend gail is coming for lunch tomorrow - she's getting takeout and bringing it so i won't go out. good friends are hard to come by. and i'm thinking, if i never am able to leave the house again, i'd better be pretty darn nice to the friends i have! actually, i have been blessed with some of the most incredible friends...mostly women, actually even a few ladies! creative, fun, be-there-for-you types. i think about each one individually from time to time and it just makes me smile, and also wonder what i did to deserve such gifts. to my friends : you are my pearls, my diamonds, my treasure. i try to tell each of you how special you are to me, but in case i've failed - know that you are very very special. okay now - if i don't get felting, i'll get dressed and go out. and that can only be trouble......L
at 12:34 PM
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
so it's day 5....still no smoking, but i'm a little nervous about going home. at least here, i have someone to yell at me and refuse to take me to the store. at this point, i'd feel a little embarrassed about asking a stranger for a cigarette. now day 2...that was killer. i would have done just about anything for a smoke. it's been very eye-opening. i have a new understanding of, and appreciation for, drug addicts and alcoholics. yes, i am an addict too. cigarettes are my "legal" drug. after 5 days, i still have moments where the urge is almost beyond what i can bear. almost. i tell myself that in 10 minutes i'll find a cigarette. just 1 drag. i mean, if i was using the patch or gum, i'd still be getting some nicotine in, right? but i have a feeling that i'm like that saying for drinkers - "1 is too many and 1000 isn't enough." yes, i have an "addictive personality." i don't do anything 1/2 way - i go both feet in and up to my neck. good or bad. yes i hate the fact that i look for job based on the potential to take smoke breaks. and if i go to a movie, have to beat feet to the exit AS SOON AS the movie's over, just to smoke. and road trips are planned with smokers only. or i drive, so i can smoke in my own car. there are 1 million ways that smoking controls my life....and as i sit here right now, the thought that i would still do almost anything for 1 drag of a cigarette passing through my body, i know it will be a while before i can go hangin' with smokers in a smoking environment. the withdrawl process is the most horrific thing i have experienced in my life. chills, rash, creepy crawlies in my veins, rage, blurred vision, migraine, constipation (5 days and counting), uncontrollable crying, more rage. i would not go through this again. so if i fail now, it will be the last attempt. yes i know i have cancer racing at me from both sides of the family, but this is truly more than i would be able to go through again. well, the last few hours of vacation are calling.....look for my mixed media piece in the next Cloth,Paper,Scissors magazine!! Yippee! L.
at 9:52 AM
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
i'm in florida right now...have been since saturday. haven't been able to get near a computer till now though. i'll try to remember events as best i can put together...bear in mind they are colored by addiction withdrawl (cigarettes), rage (16 & 17 year old having party in "dad's" house while he's away) and yet more rage (the changes in my life trying to move ahead). okay, so no-smoke day 1 was bad....i only had 4 hours sleep friday night, and woke up at 4am to shovel the driveway, load the car, wake up Bill and head to the airport. take-off was delayed as they de-iced again and again. the cravings were absolutely horrible. Bill and i were both trying to quit, and gave each other permission to be total and complete sons-of-guns towards each other if that's what it took. it was a relief from spending the last month not talking. we arrived in florida to warm sun, and still no smoking. very tense. very edgy. stood downwind from a smoker. arrived at the hotel and felt like my skin was crawling. ate a great dinner (i think) and we finally got to sleep around 11pm. i had been up since 4am, so was beyond crabby and cranky and desperately wanted a smoke. at 12:30 in the morning, the phone starts ringing....17year old stepson and 16-year old stepdaughter are having a party at our house. underage drinking. my rage-ometer hits an alltime high. i am out of control. Bill decides that they should stay there the night rather than risk drinking/driving. i say, send the police over and let their parents sort it out. i wonder where are the police? i have a property check on the house. where are my parents? they were supposed to stay there and watch the dog? i am out of my mind with white-hot rage. if there was a convenience store nearby, i'd be smoking right now. maybe Willie Dixon's Bail Bonds down the street would sell me just one. Bill and i fight with the vengenance of alpha cats in each other's territory the next day. he is mistaken in thinking that i'll behave in public. i am under the influence of hormones and nicotine withdrawl. we go out to a very nice restaurant that night. i leave him sitting at the table while i take a tearful lap around the parking lot. then he leaves me in tears at the table. water service was substandard at our table, needless to say. i tell him i want to leave him - i hate him, i hate his son, and i now hate his daughter too. we go back to the hotel room. i am melting. my hands/feet and face are bloated and i look like i've been crying for months. my skin is itchy crawly. i hate a craving, an urge, a longing that defies description. i know when i get back from vacation, i'll start smoking again, so why put myself through this now? i can't find a store within walking distance. i dream of tarantulas. more to come...L.
at 7:34 AM
Thursday, January 11, 2007
so it finally snowed! hopefully i don't sound too excited about it! As i shoveled the heavy boulders of ice left by the plow at the end of my driveway, i turned my mind to other things. in a week, i'll be in Tampa. hopefully no snow. then i began to muse about gifts. to some, the snow was a gift - plow drivers, ski resort owners, little kids trying to earn a buck shoveling (tho none in my sight!). that got me thinking about gifts. how often do i think about "...if i win the lottery..." and daydream about what i'd do with the largesse. it usually starts out very philanthropic, but seems to drift to more me me me after a bit. remember the desperate prayers you've lobbed heavenward? "God, if you just help me pass this test I'll..." fill in the blank. or "if you could make so-and-so my boyfriend, i'll..." fill in that blank. (actually, in retrospect, so-and-so probably WAS the blank!) But no gift comes without work, or cost. even on the simplest level, a small gift given has a tag. my art is a gift given to me - the inspiration coming from who-knows-where and ending up in a harmonic convergence of hands and brain. don't ask me how - it just happens. a common object will suddenly catch my interest, and the possibilities of what it could become start to unfold. a little of this here, a little of that there, and voila....a new old object! same with me. a common object - you see humans everywhere these days. but when was the last time i took time to discover the possibilities of what I could become? or maybe what i HAVE become, but just hadn't noticed. is there a little of this here, where a year ago there was none? maybe a little less of that, and more of this? and who is the artist creating me? my creations are made from rusted metal, wood and fiber, and to my knowledge, don't sit and ponder how a can opener got to be a shrine or goddess-of-this-or-that. i may be getting a little obscure here, but my point is that my art pieces evolve, and i consider each point along the way an amazing work-within-the-work....why shouldn't i look at myself in the same way? and why haven't i taken the time to? when i'm creating a piece, i watch carefully - if this rusty screw or nut doesn't "gel" with the overall feel that i want, then it's removed. if it does, then i glue, staple, wire, or otherwise attach it so it will be there forever. i'm thinking i need to do the same with what i let in to my "self" and what i don't. examine the things that bombard me internally AND from others on a daily basis...thoughts, emotions, moods, opinions, etc. what will i reject? what will i make a part of this creation? this work in progress. from the hand of the Artist comes choices...which ones best fit the final creation? stop. turn your head and look. spend a moment taking care with the most beautiful creation yet. your self. L.
at 8:12 AM
Friday, January 05, 2007
i just happened acros a blog entry by an incredible artist named bernie berlin. she's also runs a dog & cat rescue in kentucky. an amazing person with what must be boundless capacity to love and push out evil...a lot like my friend betsie. (by the way - did y'all send your checks to the CNYSPCA?) bernie has an eye-watering, 4-kleenex story on her most recent blog entry about her christmas rescue dog, noel. she was a bait dog like my nikki.
at 8:44 AM