so with this recent shopping extravaganza, came yet another purge. i have clothes from back in the day when they were stylish THE FIRST TIME. i have come to accept that i will never be a size 4 again. or a 6. or an 8. etc. so i grabbed a fistful of bags and started filling them....anything that was a size 8 or under - in the bag no questions or hestitation allowed. anything size 10 got tried on, and then juried for age appropriateness, judged by style in general, and had to pass the time test: when was the last time i actually wore it? and when was i likely to ever wear it again? only clothes that passed those rigorous standards got hung up neatly in the closet. see, the last few days, i have spent on a mission...almost epiphanous & evangelical. it started out simple enough - i needed a dress to wear to a "gala dinner" at a mountaintop villa in St. Thomas. husband won a sales contest with his company and we're off for a free week at the Ritz Carlton, with a dinner at this villa. (just so you don't think we do this sort of thing on a regular basis - it's all free from his company, okay?) But what the heck do you wear to that sort of dinner? i have dressy corporate Christmas party dresses, and some work-type dresses (loaded with dust), but nothing tropically gala dinner-ish. so my hunt began. in snow-covered Central New York not-the-fashion-capital stores. my search brought me to Skaneateles nearby. a skirt in a shop window caught my eye, so i stepped into the boutique. i'd been in this store before and was not impressed - mostly dowager style stuff. i was greeted at the door by Jake, with a tennis ball in his mouth...Jake is a Cairn Terrier with the most beautiful chocolate eyes and a wag that wins. so long story short, and $600 later, i had The Perfect Dress....and much more. (the dress was NOT $600....i left heavily laden). these bags went into the trunk of the car next to the others from the mall store. sorry. i'm uncharacteristically (sp?) onguard in these little Skaneateles shops...the area being known for it's celebrity summer folk, and snotty attitude clerks. well, this clerk and i just got down to it. we discussed how the female body changes so much throughout the years (especially 50+) and how to dress for it...not to look 20 years old, but to look & feel your best in clothes appropriate for 50+. (when you feel younger than 50 sounds, but have realized you ARE NOT). she took me to a new world, she did. i feel very What-Not-To-Wear savvy, without having the TV humiliation of the 360-degree mirror. i'm not one to spend excessively on clothes...i only office-work 3 days a week, and as long as i show up - they're happy. dressing for an office is appreciated, but attendance is foremost. but i always had a fashion-lapse in the casual clothes dept...i'd always feel like a dork going to the kids' games/events wearing unfitting & unflattering clothes. or an art event. or anything not requiring jeans & Timberland boots. it's hard to explain - not that i felt i had to "compete" with the other women there, but wanting to feel comfortable (physically) in my clothes and not look like i just jumped out of the dumpster (which i usually just had!). and a lot of it was about feeling worthy enough to be able to spend on myself - being a woman and having a few of those "oh no you take the last piece of pie, i'm not hungry" programs still embedded). so i now have a closet full of clothes that flatter my figure - go figure- and don't look like 17-year old Jenny's or 70-year old mom's. which brought up all sorts of thoughts in my pretty little head about women's relationships and clothing being the "book cover" that tells if she's "one of us" and social status and all sorts of things that 1st impression weigh. very interesting if you think about it. i know that when i pull my hair back in a ponytail, wear my glasses, jeans and a tshirt, i get treated differently in stores than if i've actually blown-dry my hair, took time for contacts & makeup (rarely) and worn a nice top, even with the same jeans. people will look me in the eye more, smile at me more, wait on me faster. is it the 1st impression? or do i feel differently about myself and project a different vibe that makes them want to avoid me? hmmm. so anyway, back to the shallower waters....i found a pair of jeans that are KILLER! i have The Hardest Time finding jeans...too long...too tight..to gappy in the back...need a crochet hook to remove them from the nether regions. these jeans are KILLER! made by Not Your Daughter's Jeans company. SOMEONE was thinking! more expensive than your average Levi or Lee, but fit like a dream and you buy a size smaller - yes smaller- than usual....see the label at the top. they say "clothes make the man," and i think i now know what they mean. i really felt so much better inside, knowing that my Inside was now reflected Outside as well. and, AND, i got a haircut. y'all know how i've been spoiling for a honkin' mullet, right? well, this is a modified-PTA approved mullet. a little longer where it usually is short, and a little more blended in the layer dept, but should i get a hankering - i can gel this thing to within an inch of it's life and BAM - mullet. so fun! so all in all, this week i reinvented myself back to the beginning...back to who i've become and was and will be. the inside is now outside and there is a nice harmony about the whole thing. ahhh. now about the 5 pairs of shoes.......
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
you know, my resolution was to stay positive on this blog, and so yes, it's true....i've lapsed in posting. the last week in particular has tried my patience and trampled on my last reserve nerve with Mother Issues. i won't degenerate into a blow-by-blow, but it seems that the epiphanous moments Mom & i have shared since last summer have POOF been yanked back behind closed doors. heavy doors. doors with stained glass windows. church doors. now i have tried out just about every religion there is and had come to the realization that it was my Beliefs, not a building that would would save my soul or forever damn it or whatever such stuff. i allow, however, that for some people, the pews and preaching and penance are the stuff that gets them by. and i have no quarrel with that. just Do Not use that as a cloak to hide yourself from me (or the world) while you sling arrows hidden in a bible. ***i was begged to work a full week last week due to a staffing crisis. so of course i did. mostly. it was too much. i left friday at noon. but i tried. so i've worn myself out here. i feel like an emotional pinata...hung up and whacked at. no candy fell though. i had to shop for days to get over it. so after all this bitchin and ranting, wants something to make you go "aaaawwww" ? grab a kleenex and watch this... http://www.telestereo.com/Archivos/video.html so good. now. time to hug my diva and try on my new shoes. L.
at 7:56 PM
Thursday, March 13, 2008
had a feeling this was coming...the boss has asked me to work a FULL week next week...the team needs me. actually the team needs about 8 more members. don't you just hate it when companies expand faster than their ability to service their customers? our newest member left monday night as usual, then called tues to say his baby had to have surgery. like, didn't you know that on monday? hasn't been back since. called to say the baby was doing fine (which was all ANYONE cared about) and that he'd understand if he didn't have a job anymore. dufus. if he came back tomorrow, they'd make him queen. that's how desperate we are for help. and the longer people wait on hold, the nastier they get. i swear to GOD if i ever find out ANYONE i know is sarcastic, nasty or rude to ANY customer service person on the phone, i will call you and make a loud noise into the earpiece and perhaps deafen you for life. it is NOT my fault that you had a lousy dental experience. it is not my fault that your lousy dental insurance crapped out on their end of the bargain and decided not to pay for your lousy dental experience. I can try to fix the problem, even though YOUR insurance is YOUR problem. i'm just that kinda person....going the extra mile. or i can simply write off the balance due if it's small enough. or go to bat for you and have someone written up. there is a lot i CAN do to help you feel warm & fuzzy ...and i am so very willing to do it IF you act like an adult talking to another adult. I have a college degree... i'm 50 years old...i've been on your end of the phone before many times, so i understand. truly. and i have n-e-v-e-r been nasty to the other person. ever. so do NOT roll all your life's disappointments into a giant ball, call me, and heave all your verbal purgings at me. i am not an emotional pinata for your whim. and i so desperately DO NOT need this job that i will hang up on you and you will have to wait 20 MORE minutes to yell at the next person. or, if luck should find me twice, you may get ME back again. and i'll be ready for you, my friend. whew. i feel better! but where was i going with this? oh - the 5-day week. after i just finished gloating about a 3-day week. i have been feeling like I may be pushing it in the luck dept with this whole part-time thing. i mean it was last august that it started, and i'm sure they thought it was a 2-3 week gig. things are just starting to pop for me opportunity-wise, so i'd hate to waffle it all up. nothing more frustrating than having all the opportunity but no time to create stuff to take advantage of that opportunity. we'll see what next week brings. though i can guess. 5 days of weak coffee, 5 mystery sandwiches, 2 extra days of trying to find similar socks, 2 extra days of missing my diva. she sits by the frosted glass panel by my front door every morning watching the car back out. i try not to look, but i can see her little ears. apparently then she starts her wolf howl, though it sounds more like Zamfir swallowed his Pan Flute because she is a leetle bitty wolfy. tomorrow is her followup appt with Dr. Unibrow. i hope he says a-o-k, and gives her her (literal) walking papers. she is just going crazy after no walks for 12 weeks. well, let's say "not many walks," because i snuck 1 or 2 in. but not many more. so, time to get cracking on my rust....because next week i have to work. 5 days. oh yeah poor me. sometimes i really shake my head at myself. L
at 8:20 PM
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
so, you believe in "coincidence" do you? well, think on this: last week, i actually got dressed, and drove aaallll the way downtown to the gallery ...my angelfriend had some nifty boxes and some rusty stuff for me. when i got there, there was a problem procuring the boxes, but she told me to go in the trunk of her car and grab the box in the left-hand corner....it was my stuff! so i did. some real nice rusty stuff at that, but curiously, a pump-ish looking thing...brand new. hunh. oh well. people have given me stranger stuff and somehow, someday i use it. later that day she called to inform me that her emergency tire inflator was NOT part of the deal. oops. so i would get it back to her before she left on her trip downstate on monday. surely she may need it. thing after thing stopped my progress. i never did get it to her by monday. no worries, she said, but i felt bad about it. well tonight, the stepper comes in and informs me that i have a FLAT TIRE. so odd. but (cue the twilight zone music) I happen to have an emergency tire inflator. hunh. coincidence? angels? Someone looking out for me who knew my annual review at work tomorrow would go much smoother if i wasn't actually late for it? hunh. that's all i have to say. L.
at 9:23 PM
sorry - fell asleep before i could finish thinking what i was thinking. but anyway, to pick up on that train of thought...the learned response thing. it's funny, but you see people in impossible, yet (to you) easily changeable situations and think, "why don't they change/move/quit that job/leave that person, " etc etc. In my Abused Person training (some good did come out of that horrid job!) the instructor explained about learned behavior....after a while of reacting a certain way to a certain situation, a person's brain will naturally follow the same patterns it has become used to - ingrained, conditioned. much like a well worn path through a meadow, except usually not as healthy. at first, (and i'll use the abused woman example here, as it's easier to picture) (unfortunately), when a partner acts unacceptably - yelling, cranky, limiting - our first nurturing inclination is to Make It All Good. fix the boo-boo, give them a "pass" on bad behavior for any number of real or manufactured reasons. That behavior then (sometimes) becomes the norm and may even escalate. by then, we've already mentally established a higher bar for tolerance..."well at least they aren't hitting." but by then, you're feeling nervous, caged in, whatever...you aren't happy about it, but what's to be done? so as the patterns and responses become more ingrained in your head, they become the "norm" even if you don't like them. if you haven't changed them by changing the situation, they will continue to deepen. much the same with my adrenaline/fight-flight response. anything other than calm order would trigger the "high alert" mechanisms in my brain, and full mental body armor would clang into place. till i changed. it took quitting that job, and taking some well-deserved time off. luckily, i found the wherewithall to do that. don't ask me where or how. i just did. and it's funny how they say "cops stick together" or "the blue brotherhood" but it's true in a sense...you cannot imagine what they see/hear on a moment by moment basis during the course of a workshift. i would come home and try to tell my husband about an incident that disturbed me particularly that night - talk it out to get it gone - and he'd say "cool!" It was all cops-n-robbers to him...thankfully, he didn't have to talk to a person who was just shot and keep them going till an ambulance arrived...promise them you'll deliver messages to their moms or babies, etc. So the only folks that truly understood the ramifications of what went on during a particular incident du jour were the ones by my side at the job. it's a strong bond. and breaking that bond, cutting those ties, was part of the process to erase the patterns. i tried to stay in touch for a while, but found my heart racing and palms sweating while they recalled stories from their day (or night, as crime doesn't punch a clock!). you cannot stay "friends" with an abuser. and in my case, my job was my abuser. And i had become an adrenaline junkie - my mind telling my body that this feeling was a Good Thing, perpetuating the chemical drama. so i guess recognizing that these physical feelings of anxiety are there to tell me Do Something, i also recognized that i had a choice in my current opportunity: i could let them turn to fear, or recognize them as the excitement - good excitement - that they were intended to be. can i tell you...i'm excited! mostly because of the opportunity, but also because it was a "checkup from the neck up..." and i passed. but to read my past post it is strange to see how very real and contorted things can look if you don't seperate out the logic of the situation....roller coaster enthusiasts will tell you they feel the same mix of fear & exhiliration...now - which one wins? stay on the ground? or hit the loops? (in that case, my friends, you ride alone...bad example). trust me - don't let familiar fear rule your life...there's just too much out there to enjoy! boy can i ramble after a few cups of double-caff ! off to my rust! L.
at 8:15 AM
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
so, my tuesday is the first of two fridays. what i mean is, i have wed AND fri off, so tuesday is like a friday to me, as is thursday....if you work a normal work week. see, now, i was just playing with you there! i just got confirmation that YES i'm in! Squam that is! gotta love FedEx. and after trying to negotiate hormones and thoughts, and tear apart and tear down the reasons why there's any hesitation at all, i came to realize that it was a learned pattern going on. so i said "stop" to my brain, and adrenaline and whatever all else that decided to start in on the silliness, and you know, it did. having worked at 911 for so many years, the constant inhumanity and horror of what came over your phone all night just takes a toll. your mind and body react to anything out of the regular routine in a primative "fight or flight" reaction....surges of adrenaline tell your mind that there's something scary here...something that needs attention, a decision to be made. and those patterns take a long while to erase. and here it is - this many years later....just time to get r-i-d of it. so i did. and it's good. and i am truly looking forward to grabbin' my Garmin and goin' ! got to have the Garmin....i still can't find my way out of a paper bag! well....time for The Show...later! linda
at 8:08 PM
Sunday, March 09, 2008
last night, the chill rain turned to ice, and left layer upon layer of thick, cold prisms on my tree branches....limbs from 40-foot trees bending to touch the roof of the house...smaller cedar trees touching the ground. all night the sounds of ice breaking free and hitting the roof. today, i'd hoped the sun's warmth and longer day would free the boughs from the icy hold. some seem to be bouncing back....others - not yet. for no reason i can comprehend, this reminded me of myself....today, i put my application in to attend a workshop in new hampshire. i had to attach a deposit of $350. i put it in a fed-ex envelope and dropped it in the box before i could change my mind. this would be a trip i'd take alone. no hotels nearby to ensconce mom, my co-pilot. after the initial ecstacy of the workshop opportunity wore down a notch, the reality of the situation started to make me waver a bit. once a gregarious risk-taker, of late i find myself a homebody and shunner of social situations on the whole. yes, i know i was the one who organized the nearly-nightly "driveway parties" in our neighborhood. yes, i am the same one who has no fear of public speaking. but something about driving anywhere out of my comfort zone, and being in this small group situation makes my palms sweat. i can't pinpoint the moment when or why this started. it comes and goes, this anxiety. at one point forcing myself to go to church - sweat running rivers to my waist - to a place i was comfortable with and familiar with. then came the years of what can only be described as "the control freak." if i knew who/what/where ahead of time, i would be able to go. last minute, impromtu gatherings of any size were more than i could bear. and along with the anxiety was an intense annoyance at myself for being anxious. why? i mean, i had been a reporter for a lot of years - the job description, for goodness sake, was to go to an unfamiliar place and meet an unfamiliar person and ask them intensely personal questions that they will probably be annoyed at you for asking. (usually within feet of a sheet-covered victim). and it gave me such a rush to do it. death threats (well, one) just made me smile. now - the mouse has taken control. not as much as before, but still a quiet hesitation. those of you who know me well would not have known me at the Boston workshop....did i say 1 word? nope. part of that was just being so overwhelmed by the whole experience. but still. so although i am just dying to go to this workshop, and know i will love every second of it, i will probably sweat the whole way there. i picked a "single" room. others have said they intentionally ask for a roommate in order to meet other artists and share ideas, etc. That sounds great, but i know i need "alone" time as well, and will be glad for a non-shared room. this time no co-pilot, no familiar face. it probably sounds a lot more dramatic and intense than it really is. i just have a much higher need/tolerance for solitude than others, i think. so before i wavered again...PLUNK....the envelope went in the fed-ex box and my journey continues. cross your fingers! oh and i need $600 more, so should you happen upon an envelope.....the universe said to give it to me.....:) L.
at 4:26 PM
Saturday, March 08, 2008
yesterday i was noodling around some of my favorite blogs, and it seemed everyone was having a blue day. oddly, i was working on a piece and the main color was blue! however.....it was anything but a "blue" day for me. (always one to be 1 step out of step i guess!). some amazing things happened. actually a small series of happy things that just made it a Gratitude day. i'll start with the mundane: in my never-ending quest for glasses/contacts that Actually Improve my vision, i've finally hooked up with an optician/opthalmologist who seems to know her stuff. we'll see upon delivery of my new groovy glasses (lime green and black). now, on to other issues. on my list of Things To Do, was a trip to the Delavan Art Center to see my angelfriend who had some really really swell boxes for me...and some incredible rust n stuff. (i accidentally took her emergency tire inflator thingie too. oops). on my way out the door, i saw a brochere for a call-for-artwork. the deadline, alas, was that day. HOWEVER there was a little sticker in the corner of this only-brochere-left that said the deadline had been extended!! my problem is that i never know what images to send. each piece is equal in my sight, so i waver like a bad politician till the deadlines pass for these things. this time, i'll close my eyes and pick. so that was a good thing. now, these little gems are in no particular order of occurance or importance, so follow my winding trail here. when i got up yesterday, i started work on another piece(!) using the aforementioned and dreaded Blue as the main color. i'm a rust and patina gal, and Really Really hate Blue...my mom once decorated every room in our house blue, and you get to being bored with it after a while. anyway, this Blue ws unfamiliar territory, so i thought i'd procrastinate a bit and went to check out some favorite blogs. well! you know how i've been crying and gnashing my teeth over wanting to go to a workshop this summer? too far...too expensive...too not interesting. but i really felt like i needed to expand my skills. so right there was a workshop. mentioned in the very first blog i checked. in New Hampshire. not so awful far. not like Portland. or Tuscany. it's at the same location where they filmed On Golden Pond. and the Very First class i saw was the EXACT class i'd been searching for. it felt as good as a puzzle piece clicking into place. the cost isn't so awful bad....actually inexpensive for this type of thing. now i need $1000, so concentrate your energies on that! but wait! my angelfriend also (on top of procuring uberboxes) told me about a professional development grant i could apply for to defray the costs. be still my heart. i floated the idea past husband and he grudgingly said he wouldn't mind. (now, just so you know, that was a courtesy "ask," as i was planning to go either way). so i will be stingy with my money between now and then! i'm sending the application in today. so all in all, it was a Blue day, but not the kind of blue that makes me sad...more like a clear sky blue. *** so the stepson is coming home for a visit today. i think he's been taking his "protein supplement" powder because his attitude has been horrible...quick to anger and unable to control it. he actually told a professor that he "didn't work THIS hard a paper to get an F-ing D on it," and stormed out of the class. according to his sister. now, that is unacceptable behavior in any situation, but especially in a college classroom. a catholic college classroom. and especially if you ever ever hope to get a better grade from that professor....if you're allowed back in. so that will be dealt with by the husband while they're in a car going 60MPH coming home. i truly hope he stays at his mom's. i am not in the mood for his chaos this weekend. i have a lot to do, and don't want to leave diva alone with him. he yells at her and scares her. and she's been such a good princess lately. so my double-caffeine coffee is making me ramble now, so i'm going to say goodbye. then i'll probably call each of you and repeat everything i just wrote, so don't bother reading this, or don't answer if i call....L.
at 9:11 AM
Monday, March 03, 2008
what a day! i woke up to ice everywhere - my car encased in it, the driveway treacherous with it...by lunch - almost 60 degrees! no coat needed here! a much needed respite. yesterday morning was a little scary. as i sat at my computer, i felt a sudden explosion of hot hurt in my chest. it subsided after about 3 minutes. i remember thinking the strangest conglomeration of thoughts: "should i call an ambulance? if so, who would i get at 911? a friend? do i want to die? thank God i shaved my legs. what if this is nothing and it subsides before they get here and i waste a perfectly good day hooked up to an IV wearing a drafty gown and aqua foam slippers?" so i didn't call. and it did subside. and i will get it checked. but the rest of the day I subconciously reached for my chest, patting it. that night, despite just having a gyno appt on fri, i again did a self exam, since something didn't feel right...something felt heavy. and a little hurty. and there it was - a little lump. well, maybe not little little....just smaller than, say, an acorn. could my dr have missed that? i had been scheduled for some more tests wednesday, and remembered that i asked them to throw in a mammo "to complete the whole experience." thankful now. my body is just throwing tantrums left and right. my mind - never been better. today i smiled as though my life depended on it, and you know - it helped. still with the pains in the joints etc, but for the while of the smile...perfect, as Patty would say. i told my husband about the chest pain. not the lump. for some reason, that seemed too concrete, too scary to even whisper aloud. a laundry list of aches, pains and bodily disrespect is different - no actual diagnosis to point to or fear. a lump, though. that's where the mind jumps the high diving board into the empty end of the pool. so wednesday at 3pm, i'll go to the Imaging place, let them squeeze and inject and xray and intrude my otherwise private places and see what happens. then i'll treat myself to something wonderful and decadent. hot fudge sounds good right now. so cross your fingers for me. i'll report back. right now, speaking of squeezing.... it's time for diva's quarter-hour hug. L.
at 7:55 PM
Sunday, March 02, 2008
ok so the paint is dry and i'm rested up...should be - i fell asleep on the couch from 2-5pm, then bumbled around the house till i could justify bedtime. hubby and i are still waging a slow battle about whether or not we need new cupboards...i say no. our $1500 kitchen facelift is trying to turn itself into a $10K remodel. have i mentioned that even the... $1500 is a stretch? 1 in college and 1 headed there (hopefully) in sept. So now is not the time to spend $$$ for cabinets when the old ones are just fine. at least the paint is done. i got up at 6am to do some more dabbling on a piece i'm working on using an old camera body. the main hurdle was to try to stop seeing it as a camera, and thus shake off the "camera connections." lens=eye, etc. finally past that, now what?? it's going well though. i am in desperate need of visual stimulation though....even the outdoors is blank and white. i love watching the birds dive-bomb into the window feeder...all their fuzzy colors so beautiful against the snow. i pulled out some old art magazines for inspiration this morning. it makes my heart ache...i am just craving the next step...beginning to tire of the same old methods...i really really need to get myself to a workshop, just to get the enthusiasm going. **so mom tells me my sister-from-another-mister is coming for a visit in june. i've only met her twice, having learned of her existance when i was 21. she lives in canada. there'll be more on that topic another time. but it's looking like this visit is mom's way out of the africa trip. it is beyond her that more than 1 good thing can happen per year. we'll see. she's on the Oprah train now, so maybe some of that take-care-of-yourself stuff will sink in. well, my glue is dry...back to it. L.
at 8:43 AM
Saturday, March 01, 2008
so with the uber-supervisor in control, we will "git er done." and i do mean "in control." so what do you get when you cross an OCD, knows-the-Best-way person, with a very busy let's-just-get-this-nightmare-over-with-so-I-can-make-art person? yup. US. trapped in a small little kitchen. has all the makings of a good sitcom. i'm too tired to give you a detailed account right now, but to our credit, no blood has been shed. of course, we're still on the 1st coat. love the smell of latex in the morning. so here's a finished area....the small squares of color are tile samples for the counter......
at 12:37 PM