Wednesday, May 28, 2008
for the better part of the winter, i've been pining away for my Grand Summer Enlightenment...last summer being a startling, mind-blowing combination of learning my Self, my mother, and feeling very Carly Simon, earth mother-ish, totally where i should be, Yogic (without all the pretzel configurations), spiritual - you get the picture. by the beginning of the new year (a bit after my surprise birthday party) (which i still bask in from time to time!) i felt that sort of slide away. the lessons stuck, but that euphoric Apple-Trees-And-Honeybees feeling sort of slunk off into the snowdrifts. i have spent the past bunch o' months trying to figure out why...praying, meditating, working art, being a really really good person, giving diva extra pets. nope. maybe a glimmer from time to time, but not that gee it's uber-great to be alive feeling. so yesterday morning i think i caught a ghost of a glimmer why. 1st of all, winter is my crazy, unbalanced time...s.a.d., cabin fever, and bone-chilling cold all conspire to steal my joy. there's just something cruel about getting up at dark o'clock and pulling off perfectly good quilts from your body, just to go outside in 0-degree weather to shovel mountains of snow from the driveway just to go to WORK. and the town plow usually arrives 5 minutes after the shoveling to drop another 3 feet at the bottom of the driveway. brrr & aarrgghh. also, and here's the smart part, i've spent so much time craning my neck looking backward to last year that i haven't even discovered if THIS year holds any promise! (i think that's how women get stuck with the same hairdo - looking back to their glory days of the 70's - or 60's God help us - and time just keeps going without bothering to turn around and wait for us). so the lessons from last summer, although glorious and grace-ful, were last summer's....this year surely must have some merit of it's own, eh? so i'm off to find it. speaking of finding things, yes it IS true that i'm headed to NH in september. y'all know this will be remarkable for me, in that i rarely go that far from home, at least without an escort. an escort, 4 maps (color coded), snacks, cell phone, blankets, emergency road kit, AAA, fix-a-flat, mace and a tazer. and i rarely GET that far from home without getting mundo lost. actually, these days, a parking lot may as well be New Zealand for all the directional inclination my menopause-muddled brain has stored up. 2 weeks ago i went to Auburn to drop off my piece for the Schweinfurth show....i HAD to go and it HAD to be that day. yup - took the GPS. which works fine, but is not the most logical technology. but i gave up. so i think this year may be a bit about stretching my wings a bit - both figuratively and actually. there had to be some pretty compelling workshops there in order for me to gear up, put on my Big Girl crocs, and actually sign up and PAY my non-refundable fee. and there are. and the time is right. this time, as i pre-stress everything, i welcome the thoughts of doom (what if i get really lost & my car breaks down and ok what if i actually make it there and no one talks to me or worse if i can't think of anything to say to anyone else or completely lose any artistic talent/gift/inspiration and spend the better part of 4 days making the equivalent of a kindergarten ashtray, or or or ) ...i welcome them so i can chide them, sort them, and learn about myself from them. (well, welcome is not the right word- more like "know these thoughts are coming and have decided to deal with them as individual bad children and leave them at some emotional orphanage for someone else to choose"). i don't usually travel easy, anyway, but being that it is just myself that i have to plan for, pack for, get somewhere, it should be a very interesting trip. and to the oddsmakers - i have not yet started packing. now just stop that smirking. L.
at 7:14 AM
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
i'm thinking about Nature this morning....when i woke up around 6am, i took my coffee out on the deck and listened to the squirrels fussing and clacking at each other...birds calling and telling the squirrels to please keep it down. diva and i sat for a bit soaking it all in. the beginnings of a stirring of an inkling of Something Important gently decending. i guess what i'm looking for is the calm, centeredness i seem to have lost over the winter. the feeling of being "in the zone," at peace, a part of nature - not just an observer. the assemblage i'm working on now (not pictured here) is called "she tried." although it is making progress, it just bedeviled me...worked against me in so many ways. till this morning. i leave the "meaning" of the piece up to personal interpretation, but to me, it is speaking of trying to recapture that peace, that Alchemy, that solid joy at feeling sun on my toes on the deck in the morning with a mug of good strong coffee. the quietness of my soul. heart-ears listening for instruction. i've filled my hands and minutes with chores and errands for too long. yesterday, as i worked in my garden, i realized how long it's been since i've spent solid blocks of time doing what i Need to do, as opposed to what i Should do. today i will make art. i am also in charge of the 2 mariachi dogs across the street - 2 of the fiercest, cutest little bug-eyed spirits. all 3 pounds of them bum-rushing the 3 Maine Coon cats they share the house with. so today, Lulu, Tink and i will spend a little quality time together till their mom comes home. their deck is one of the most peaceful places. i'll sketch while they terrorize the bugs. then tonight...a bonus night off! glue, nails and the dremel! Diva will be in heaven. enjoy your slice of sunshine today! L
at 10:47 AM
Friday, May 23, 2008
i was up early again today...5am...the first of 4 days off in a row! yippee! i'm reading 3 fabulous books...Eat,Pray,Love...Odd Hours...and a Joan Anderson book - the followup to her Year By The Sea (highly recommend). i read a little, then cruised some blogs and waited for Diva to finish her dreams and come nudge me. do i adore her too much? i am totally GONE on this creature. and it's weird (yes weird that i talk about my dog like she was a Real Girl...but something Else weird)....before i had a dog, i never realized how individual their personalities were.....i thought a poodle acted like a poodle and all poodles were the same, as were st. bernards and chihuahas. (oh - i'm dogsitting for 2 tiny teacup chihuahas this weekend and am terrified i'll lose them!). so first came my love-of-a-lifetime mandog, Nikita. a handsome american eskimo boy...serious and somewhat laidback - well for an eskie. then Diva Dog, Nikki, comes blasting into our lives...all fangs and furious and terrified of everything from umbrellas to hiccups to laundry being folded to most men in general, youngblood & husband in specific, and you name it and it would send her under the bed for days. 8 years later, she's somewhat better. but where Kita was standoff-ish in the snuggle department, Diva is an absolute whore for tummyrubs. and clingy. when i leave the house, she is certain she will never never ever see me again. i am going away for good and leaving her. she backs reproachfully away from a goodbye pat to the head and gives me Eyes. as the door closes, the howling begins...that chilling wolf-howl-mixed-with-Zamfir that grips your heart and squeezes till the guilt pops out and floods your aorta then cruises thru your entire circulatory system, dropping off bits and pieces along the way...your stomach clenches, your head throbs, your feet become disoriented and try to turn around and go back inside. she then runs to the glass panel by the front door...the frosted glass. so the last thing your teary eyes see as you pull down the driveway are 2 blurry ears perked at attention. and that's just when i run to the stop-and-rob down the street. an entire workday away is an epic battle of mind over mind to not think about her fuzzy head, furry paws, and constant licking of the hand. arriving home is cause for celebration! in puppytime, i have been gone approximately 4 million, 300 thousand years. she launches at me, and will not be denied until i crouch down and she puts one paw on each side of my head, leans in against me and sighs in my ear. then the kisses start. i swear to you this is true. and i've often wished for a small half-bath just inside my door because by the time the greetings are accomplished and i''m able to disentangle myself and fly upstairs...it's just about too late. i've learned a lot from my furkids though...about living mindfully...be present in the moment, even if just to take a second to close my eyes and sniff the morning smells....dew-laden ferns, the smell of the earth as it begins to warm, listening to the calls and conversations of the nuthatches and woodpeckers and the cardinals that come early to feed...the one-note mourning dove....the resident owl causing havoc nearby in the woods. all of it feeding my soul as completely as if it was made-to-order. i miss these moments in the winter, and try to rememorize them during the brief non-winter months. ahhh...i feel a walk coming on. i will try to bring back pictures, but my camera is still broken and i can't tell when it's focused. now that could be interesting. breathe this day deep inside...the morning fresh...the details yet to come...this moment, this precious moment between the sandman and the sun - bring it with you in your heart today. L.
at 7:54 AM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
what's up lately?? it seems everyone i know, and everywhere i look (magazines, etc) seem to be in this "accept yourself" mindset. this is not a complaint. it is about time! i just about choke when i stand in line at the grocery store looking at magazine covers...and Cosmo - aaarrgghh. what an incredible disservice they do to Real women. of any age. it was the one magazine i would not buy for my stepper when we had our girly dates at Barnes & Noble. nowthey have Cosmo Girl, so they can grab your young mind and brainwash you into thinking that spike heels are comfortable, and that your A-Number-1 goal is to please your man better in bed. i got news for y'all...you make me prance about on heels all day and the only thing getting a massage that night are my feet. i remember my mom saying "Beauty is only skin deep," and my dad finishing with, "but ugly is to the bone." never figured out what the heck they meant till i was 40-ish. i thought it was one of those mom-isms that were thrown out to try to make you feel less ugly. i mean, of COURSE beauty is skin deep! THAT'S the point! or so i thought back then. the best part of that duet is the Ugly Is To The Bone part. it truly is. ugly, as in hateful and jealous and gossipy and 2-faced and on and on. nothing, i think, makes a person look uglier than a bad spirit. a nasty heart. i know some women that are truly un-gorgeous, but after getting to know them, they just radiate True Beauty. and that is so much more lasting and true and brilliant than any foundation or powder or diet will ever make you. yes, i look at pictures of myself growing up....when i felt like i missed the mark in every important beauty department...too heavy, too short, too many pimples, too flat chested, straight hair when curly was "in", curly hair when straight hair was fashionable. and you know, i wasn't actually all that Quasi Modo as i look at the pictures now....it was something INSIDE me that was looking back in the mirror. and that's what made me see with distortion. so as my contact lens struggle continues in Real World, my eyes are 20/20 in the spirit.....i am comfortable being ME...flabby ass and all! So raise a toast (or better yet - some toast!) to all the women who actually finally get it....beuaty is just skin deep. and ugly is truly to the bone. L
at 8:17 PM
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
i'm waiting for both glue & paint to dry, so this isn't procrastination. i'm working on a piece called "She Tried." the interpretation will be up to you when you see it. but that got me thinking about all of the women i know that tried. and the different ways that "tried" can be interpreted. and the different things that were "tried." and if "tried" is an end-all, or a way of life, or simply one solution that failed/worked and will continue. and my thoughts kept coming back to the single most remarkable woman i have ever known. i will never know another person, male or female, who embodies the word "tried" more than Ursula. some would dismiss her as a cartoon. some would just dismiss her. but to spend enough time with her, the bits and pieces of her life will be revealed to you, and you will never be the same. ever. i first met Ursula when i was 6. we had moved to a suburb of Syracuse NY (Dewitt) to a brand new apartment complex. it was still being built. 20 buildings, 10-12 apts in each. THE place to live, if apartment living was where you were at. All Jewish. we secretly called it Hanukah Heights. mostly older people. And Ursula. she were not Jewish. and she sure was not old. Oh how entranced i was by her...she was beautiful...wore beautiful clothes - although all i can distinctly remember was her leopard print bikini, and her German accent was just thrilling! AND and! she had a poodle! no dogs were allowed in the complex, but Ursula had a POODLE! the complex was owned by a local family, who, it was alledged, had ties to another "Family." anyway, i would go knocking on her door after school everyday and beg to walk her dog. she always let me. (being the owner of an over-loved dog now, i cannot fathom how she let that happen). i remember the day i came home to fire engines and seeing the smoke pouring from her apartment. Suzette was dead. Ursula was seemingly broken. she had not been home when the fire broke out. and this is where i thought her story of a Phoenix-like life began. but it wasn't. Ursula was raised in Germany, and although not Jewish, was pretty, even as a very young girl. soldiers took a liking to her, and that's all i have to say about that. after falling off the back of a motorcycle, she was left for dead by the side of the rode - a discarded toy. but she rose. she found her way somehow to the States and started over. doing anything she could. at the point where i met her, she had a lot of "boyfriends," and also worked at a construction company. one of the boyfriends had a jealous woman in his life. a jealous unbalanced woman. who fire-bombed Ursula's apt and killed Suzette. soon after that, Ursula was in a car accident and totalled a car the company let her use. she was fired from the job. she sold cosmetics and whatever else she could. she got another poodle. she found a new job downtown. one night when she got into her car to drive home, a man was hiding in the back. he had recently pre-released himself from prison. he drove her to a cemetary and raped her at knifepoint. she had the presence of mind to tell him then that she would enjoy it more if she could be on top. as they switched, she turned his knife against him and ran, naked, to the nearest house. police were called and the man was caught. the end of her story? no. when i was married the first time, we moved to another suburb on the other side of Syracuse. the first day in our new townhouse, i was left with boxes and boxes to unpack, and painting to do and more boxes to unpack. and a knock comes at my door. i'm sweaty and crying and feeling very sorry for myself. i opened the door to an older woman, perfectly groomed, bright red lipstick, the shortest shorts, and a silver carafe of coffee. as the woman was trying to see around me to get a look at my stuff, and welcoming me to the neighborhood, her German accent exposed her:Ursula! could it be? yes - i could smell the Scotch. (did i mention Ursula was always well into her cups by 10 or 11am? but somehow got more done than most of us do when we're sober). i re-introduced myself. tears came to her eyes, and that only-Ursula cackle came from deep inside her..."oh my Gott! oh my Gott!" and yes, she was on poodle #4. (this one was nasty...biting anything and anyone that came within it's range). she was also on husband #2...a quiet, incredibly myoptic, geeky guy who probably wonders every day how he got so lucky. during the next ten years, Ursula would accidentally discover a pimple that turned out to be melanoma, a lump in her breast which required a mastectomy, a fall from a ladder as she was putting the star on top of a christmas tree, and then, as she was walking poodle #4, a truck speeding around a corner and hitting Freddy killing him instantly. i was walking Kita, and came around the same corner to find a woman screaming and hugging a tree as 2 men tried to pry her off it. i yelled at them to stop. as i neared, there was Ursula....still yelling gut wrenching "NO GOTT's" clinging to the tree for support, still holding a leash which ended under the truck. she refused to budge and i ran for help to our neghbor. we took her home and offered her tea, which earned us a raised eyebrow and a Look as she reached under the sink for her scotch. next they got a beagle. one night as i worked at 911, a call came to me...the woman in barely coherent english/german asking for an ambulance. i looked at the address on my screen - Ursula. her husband was having a stroke or an episode of vertigo. i listened to her heartbreak once again. soon after that, i remarried, and moved 10 minutes away. a year into it, as i walked Kita and Nikki down through the echo echo tunnel and through the beechwoods, i saw an older couple headed toward me. you have GOT TO BE KIDDING! Ursula! and her husband. she had not changed 1 iota...hair still perfectly set, red lipstick, daisy dukes, and these cool fold-up black sunglasses with rhinestones all over them. she must be at least 112. "you haf gotten older" she proclaimed. thanks. she had not. she was still cackling, still unsteady on her feet, still going. "whir do you lif?" she demanded. i knew for sure she would appear on my doorstep at any time of day if given this information. scotch in hand. she volunteered that they had to put charlie the beagle to sleep because he bit someone (no surprise) and the senior apts wouldn't let them have a dog that had a biting history. Ursula has been through more in her lifetime than i would want to face. any one of her vignettes (and there are many many more) would have pummeled and destroyed me. but she rises. she tries. she goes on. she's slowed down on the scotch - just one after dinner. or around dinner. she doesn't dance the cha-cha at the slightest suggestion anymore. but her spirit is still strong and bold...charming and taunting you to get up for gott's sake ...go on...rise...try. i have yet to determine if Ursula is indeed made of mortal flesh and bone, or if she has been sent to the earth for me...to inspire, to chide, to be a better me. (other people have indeed seen her, so it's not like THAT). i say that i would like to be more like her. but would i be willing to pay that hiway's toll? in honesty? no. but if i could just sit under her golddust and have some sprinkle on me...just enough for what i need... for what i face....now, that would be sufficient. and the memories....they would scold me into rising, going on...trying. L.
at 9:33 AM
so the message that's been trying to get me to listen to it is: go slowly...observe all the wonders along the way...the beauty...the smells....the textures...of this, your one and only wonderful life. Lately, my calendar has filled with "stuff." interesting stuff, gotta-do-it stuff, all sorts of stuff. but it has left little time to sit quietly and listen. and that has had a direct reflection on my art. rather....i have not had an inkling of an artistic idea. the Stuff has been primarily superficial, day-to-day Stuff, leaving no room to feed the Good Stuff. the Stuff Factory. the Soul. my Zen card said "sit quietly. Watch your thoughts and feelings pass in front of you. Relinquish control and the desire to get caught in them..." Then, on the Swirlygirl site, (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=25173) an incredible collage with this caption.."Your strongest, bravest, wisest self is waiting for you with wide open arms. Go to her and you shall become her." and THEN i found this website: http://www.thisordinaryday.com/ ....all celebrating being mindful...being still...drenching your soul in those Moments. something that has been sorely lacking in me for months now. so today, as husband leaves for an out-of-town day, and youngblood officially goes to work (pray it doesn't rain so he stays all day), and diva is settling in with her Happy Tummy, I officially ban all distractions and disturbances. i have 2 projects that i'll be working on today and will focus. one can be worked while the glue on the other is drying. and it seems that art feeds art...when i'm working on one project, it sometimes spurs an idea for another. i guess May isn't so awful...now that my fingers are nearly healed. i feel a return to the Earth-within-me calling...a connection reawakening. maybe that's what all the internal commotion has been about. new green growing, pushing out the winterkill. today i will water, fertilize, till and feed my Internal Garden...scrape the dead moss and rake last year's leaves from my heart...i will allow the sun to reach the fertile soil and let the tiny seedlings warm their heads in the light. i will be my best self for this day. but first i have to take out the garbage.L.
at 7:51 AM
Sunday, May 18, 2008
it's a grey, rainy day...husband and i worked in the garden yesterday and today...i'm tired, muddy and hungry...my brother sent this....sometimes you just have to laugh...i give you 24 seconds - and that's if you're a total sourpuss: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P6UU6m3cqk&feature=email and if you need a retro laugh, this is a good bet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60og9gwKh1o love this, but it's contagious! so on this dark, drizzly, stay-in-bed-and-read day, have a laugh on me. L.
at 1:28 PM
i am a reader...my mom used to pile up a thousand books from the library, and we'd sit in the big chair all day reading. rather, she would read and i'd look at the big bright pictures...one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish...i will not eat green eggs and ham...all the classics. i can still quote Dr. Seuss at the drop of a hat. as i got older, Nancy Drew mysteries became my passion (but not the scary ones). then modern romance, (pullease!) , then whatever caught my interest...from science & psychology to New York Timesy stuff to,yes, i'll admit it - the Oprah selection. i took it all in. it was food to me. and escape to imagination. and exciting. one day a friend made a remark about someone who "only reads the Oprah" books and thinks she's well-read." terrible comment. and it reflected more about the friend than the "target." life is not all about being serious, in my opinion. and if you enjoy a quick escape into Toni Morrision land, have at it! i have stacks and stacks of books and magazines beside my bed on a table...and more underneath it! when i'm sick, i'd rather cuddle up under the covers and read-and-doze than watch TV. that's my choice when i'm well, too. but that Oprah comment always stayed with me and i felt un-cool reading an Oprah selection, or her magazine. now let me just chime in and say that of all the addictions i have...caffeine, nicotine, Bulgari perfume...right at the top of the list is magazines. i have subscriptions i forget that i have till they arrive in my mailbox...i do spend a ton of money on magazines at Barnes & Noble down the street. they know me by name there. they ask about my art. when i've special-ordered in a book, they wave to me from the door and tell me it's in, and one woman even comments " i just don't think you'll like this one..." It's like "Cheers." so anyway, where am i rambling? oh. i know. technology has also thrown blogs into the mix...sort of a continuing magazine...tune in tomorrow, etc. so there's a whole new world of things to read! and guess what? i'm finding myself picking up and *gasp* BUYING Oprah magazine a lot lately. this month's edition hits the nail on the head about body-acceptance and image and all sorts of things. as i age, things are not where i left them 20 years ago...breasts have become hips, hips have become who knows what extending well beyond where they were, my butt has become the back my knees, etc. Somewhere around 45, i realized i was not 25. i stopped trying to dress 25, and stopped trying to look 25 (a time when i weighed 100 lbs and wore a size 0-3). oh the freedom! see, the Big Secret is that at 45, and then more so at 50, you release yourself to become what you were meant to be...you can still have the inner feelings of excitement that you had at 25, but now you don't feel the need to cram into too-tight jeans. Cosmo magazine has a decades long history of disservice to Real Women. is it me, or am i right here: real live women just don't fret that much about spike heels, g-spots, the perfect smoldering eyeliner, etc. Real Women are more likely to fret over time-management and billpaying. my friend talks about becoming "culturally invisible" when she turned 50. I do agree that i used to think at this age it would all be over, and the remaining years would be spent waiting for the train to glory. but yes and n o. i may be Invisible and obsolete in the minds of 20-year-olds, but so much the better. i can speak my mind more freely that at any other time in my life...i'm now the old person that you listened to with respectful silence, then rolled your eyes as you walked away. and the cool part is that i feel i CAN speak my mind. and i do. i've never been one to hold back if the situation was important enough, but now, i'm a fountain. and i love the freedom. my concern over weight and fashion and makeup and looks...oy...too much trouble compared to the other wonderful things life has to offer. not to say that i just let it rip and wander aimlessly about in farmer jeans and unwashed hair spouting dreams and opinions at passersby. but a quiet, knowing grace has taken center stage...i still feel "girlish" inside, but have more experiences to back up what i say/do/want/don't want. my knees and hands don't always cooperate, and don't even get me going about my back, but i no longer worry about what "They" will think. and as i read the stories about body image in *gasp* Oprah magazine, i realized that this journey is not unique to me...that it's a rite of passage...a pilgrimage from Monolo Blahnik to menopause. and i'm okay with Crocs and Sketchers, but spike heels are for the young and coordinated. i have something far more enduring and fulfilling than youthful, wrinkle-free skin and perfect cleavage...i have me. L
at 8:32 AM
Friday, May 16, 2008
so today, promptly at 8:30, gail & i arrived at the rehabber's to feed some wildlife...little teeny bunnies and gooselettes and ducklettes and squirrels of every size. 1 day old, on up to a few weeks. and that's where it got interesting. there was a pen of maybe a thousand squirrels..ok maybe 5 ...or 6. hard to say. at the "few weeks" stage they just move around so quickly. so when you take the chicken wire lid off, you have to grab quick and hold on. at this age, their eyes are open, and you do not look like a mama squirrel. so you are The Enemy. gail was opening and grabbing and feeding and on to the next, while i was still trying to wrangle one. i got him (her?) but she was a little feisy. and soon - we had a runner. up my shirt and over the shoulder. my protective glove was way too big, and i had a feeling that i'd squeeze it's little guts out if i grabbed too hard, so he poo-ed on and climbed me till i dropped the glove and grabbed. he (she?) looked me in the eye, recognized me as the wife of the Bad Man that chases their relatives from our bird feeder, and BIT my finger. blood gushed. pain. pain. instinctively i grabbed with the other hand, and - you guessed it...CHOMP. gush. pain. well, gail was doing such a good job, and these squirrels seemed to have taken a Dr Doolittle liking to her, so i just held the chicken wire for that round, and fretted rabies or tetanus or worse. on to the ducklettes....no teeth. we gave them a little spa treatment, scrubbing their little beaks and then a web-icure with tiny soft toothbrushes. can i tell you...duck poo is The Winner in the most-likely-to-make-you choke contest. there were little tiny owls, and an old possum named Sidney. there are some very interesting facts about possums and their procreational plumbing that i won't get into here, because my fingers hurt and typing is not easy. but suffice it to say, thank God human men are not equally equipped. one is enough, thank you. and that's all i have to say. google it. all in all, a tiring but rewarding morning. diva was very interested in my smell when i got home. i will burn those clothes. and do it all over again next week. time to make some dinner. L.
at 5:38 PM
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
so friday at 8am, Gail & I will be feeding itty bitty squirrel babies with itty bitty baby bottles....squirrel babies, possum babies, goslings, ducklettes....all manner of nature's tiniest unfortunates who have somehow become motherless. except skunks. you have to have shots to do that, and as much as i love nature, that's where the line is drawn. my rehabber friend is overwhelmed with baby this-and-that's who all need to be fed. so i asked if she needed a hand and it was as if she knew i'd be calling. had a schedule all set for me. so my contacts will wait another week. let's get perspective here. and i will arrive at the Schweinfurth to drop off my artwork - not in fancy schmancy successful artist clothes, but my usual Timberlands and jeans. no cameras allowed at the rehabber, but maybe she'll allow a few close-ups that don't reveal her secret location. we'll see. i'm looking forward to adding something totally meaningful to my life. and who can resist a teeny baby squirrel? geez, i hope i don't lose one. they are wily little critters. so here are a few blogs/websites/distractions for you that are just totally cool... www.rfalconcam.com (the baby falcons are a-dorable right now). http://outmywindownyc.blogspot.com/ is a very cool project...i may do something similar here at some point. and www.christinemasonmiller.com a/k/a swirlygirl and sparkletopia creative community. loooove her site - so inspirational. check out her upcoming book - you will WANT IT NOW! well diva is doing her wolf howl/boxcar willie whistle, so time to take care of that poor neglected soul (yeah right, neglected!). bye for now..........L
at 8:16 PM
this is my husband's corner office....he sent this today while on his way to a sales call: the adirondack mountains - some of them anyway...Mt. Marcy on the left, Colden in the middle, and Algonquin on the right...oh to be there! He reports there is still winter-deep snow on the top. L.
at 10:46 AM
this morning i awoke to a bag full of doubts and frustrations....it has been forever since i've made any art. or felt inspired to make art. or had an inkling of an idea of a shadow of a project that excites me in any way. Left brain screams "you're no artist!" while Right brain uncharacteristically refuses to defend itself. usually the best ideas come on monday mornings while i'm getting ready to go to work. i have 2 half-started projects on my worktable....a metal piece and a wearable art piece. and i have to make some paper to attach a fiber piece to. but no thoughts on how to proceed with any of them. i keep saying i'm going to dedicate an entire day to a project, but which day? each is filled with errands and obligations, yet empty of inspiration. i've cleared my list of Things That Must Be Done Only On This Day, and still....nothing. i've tried reading some inspirational blogs and books...nothing. right now i'm reading "Eat Pray Love." i wasn't sure if i'd like it , and brought it on vacation. i love it so far. just past the "Eat" part, and am just a few pages into "Pray." and i think there's an answer brewing in those pages....i haven't had time to be still and be centered and let my imagination breathe. the author talks about having a "monkey mind" when she tries to meditate....her thoughts swing from one thing to the next like a monkey in a tree, rather than settling in to the task. that's part of it for me. husband has different standards and Must Haves in order to feel comfortable in the house, and his list of "rules" is long and detailed. i spend a lot of my day trying to remember which lights on or off, which window open or closed. i disappoint myself for participating. i, too, have personal pet peeves but don't expect the world to conform. for instance, i hate getting my hands greasy. i'll muck it up in paint or dirt or almost any other thing, but grease just makes me yuk out. but i also don't expect to heave out anything greasy in the house. just don't stand between me and my Purell. i'm at that breaking tipping point again, can you tell? i need a vacation where i don't have to be in charge of planning, packing for everyone, making sure everyone gets to the flight on time, etc. i'll do all that for myself, but it is exhausting being the brain for everyone. and i guess i have to ask myself why i do it? am i a natural planner, making it my contribution? or is it my own control issue? when i was traveling Quebec with the band, one night i saw one of the managers trying to get 15 things done at once. i had nothing better to do than swat Black Flies, so i went over and starting helping with a mundane, but time-consuming, task. she was a very spiritual, grounded woman...one of those people you swear just sort of hovers over the ground. she told me that i have an innate ability to see the details of a job and to get it done. she was speaking in a universal sense, not just the envelope-licking task at hand. i guess that stuck in my head. and in thinking about it, i'm not such a control freak as far as other people are concerned. i do have good planning skills, but in This Life now, i find i am given the job of keeping a mental inventory of where everything is and knowing when this or that is due and how long it takes to get from here to there so we have to leave by whatever time. which would be easier if i wasn't then fought every step of the way. so i guess i'm getting a little closer to the answer as to why i'm too monkey-minded to make art right now. hunh. hmmm. perhaps if i just sit in my studio today...forget about the last few chores i need to accomplish (my contact lenses have sat at the eye doc for 8 weeks...a few days more won't matter) get some music going (because i CAN) and just breathe in the welcoming, forgiving smell of paint and rusty things and butterfly wings, perhaps the fragrance of a thought of a shadow of an idea will tease my senses, and my hands will be inspired to cooperate with the internal music that will become art. Maybe i'll shower first. L.
at 6:16 AM
Monday, May 12, 2008
August has typically been my month of Change....i've always changed jobs in August...moved in August...gotten engaged in August (each time)....and felt the first stirrings of autumn in August. so it's a month i look forward to like the circus: what's new and exciting around the corner? and also with a little trepidation: what's up THIS year? But May...i never trust May. it is my month of chaos and unrest. i get squirmy like a kid in church. i am typically out of sorts and unrested mentally & physically. and on a normal day-to-day basis throughout the year, things happen to me that could ONLY happen to Me. so when May rolls around, i want to stay inside for safety. so today - a day in May - started as a typical day in May.....i did n-o-t want to go to work. ever again. or be married. or be productive in any way. luckily husband has left for a weeklong business trip. i wonder if he planned it on purpose? anyway. i went to work, despite my inner voice screaming like a banshee to stay home and stamping it's little foot like a spoiled child in the candy line at the grocery store. i went. i built character. i'll spare you the blow-by-blow of odd and uneven events that occurred throughout the day because it would re-exhaust me to go through it again. except this one cosmic gem: when i got home, i changed into my typical sweatshirt and jeans. a man known only as David was coming by to pick up a turtle trap of his that i'd found. (part of a mapping project by the university...definitely not a killing/trapping trap). on the phone he had a melting Aussie accent. so i go about my business - making dinner, kissing Diva,etc, and unconsciously rubbing Something caught in the sleeve of my freshly washed sweatshirt. (don't jump ahead!) so David (who is very handsome & married & has a daughter who turned 1 yesterday and is far too young to be caught unawares by my charm and besides i'm married) is chatting about the turtle project and meanwhile, i've worked this lump of whatever down to the cuff of my sweatshirt. not really thinking about it. it's just a lumpy annoyance. something in my back burner thinks it's probably an old kleenex or dryer sheet (as i usually find dryer sheets stuck in or on my underpants at work which explains why i will never get a promotion, i suppose) but there is a small, quiet alarm going off somewhere on another brain burner that's saying "just wait a few minutes before pulling that out of your sleeve you bonehead." But it is May after all. so entrancing was this aussie accent that my fingers, of their own volition i tell you on their own without full permission of the brain, the fingers of my right hand reach into the cuff of my left sleeve and produce not a kleenex or dryer sheet no but a pair of actual underpants like some sort of sick suburban houdini trick i'm standing there talking about turtle mapping and whipping under-freaking-pants out of my sleeve in front of this highly educated and deliriously attractive but never to be touched man in my own private driveway i will never forget the shame and should cut off the offending fingers and thanking God ONLY that i will never i tell you never have to see this man again in this life or the next because i'm sure he'll point me out at the pearly gates "that's the harlot" and i shall spend eternity in hell which at this moment i have a taste of mentally. what most of you don't know is that 6 years or so ago, i prayed and prayed for someone else's life. i now realize i should have been more specific. i think i know where I Love Lucy's went. how many ways i ask you is it possible to humiliate oneself on a daily basis and not end up growing a large bulbous nose that goes HONK when squeezed? so for this example, as so very many more, is the secret to why i am unbothered by the people who call and scream about getting a bill for $7.10 more than they thought it would be....that is so much more preferable to Life's Little HaHa's. i'll now go let the dog out. L.
at 7:58 PM
Sunday, May 11, 2008
if you aren't from here, this will probably sound about as yokel as it gets. yesterday was The Radisson Garage Sale. this is a huge residential community ...it began about 30 years ago as an experiment - a Planned Community...self-contained...health center...grocery shop...school..etc. kinda sounds like a cult. anyway, the health center got going, but thankfully no other outside type stuff. (let me pause here and just say this: i don't drink. BUT last night we had a Hillbilly Redneck Driveway Party, and i had some tasty slushy concoction that made my legs numb - i went to stand up and couldn't. hunh. i overstayed, but it was in my driveway, so...but my point is that i'm spending equal amts of time typing, then correcting my spelling/typing errors. so i;m going to just let it rip, and you ppretend iyt's a 15-year old texting and figure it out.). where was i? oh. so it's grown A Lot since the 70's, and every year (inexplicably on Mothers Day weekend) the entire community has a garage sale. hundreds od garage sales all in 1 place. literally 1000's of people. my face is so tired from smiling. and every year we say we aren't doing it...we have nothing to sell. and every year, The Very Morning of the sale, husband starts dragging stuff out and i have to arrange & price while the gathering hoards pounce. very stressful. and the woman at the end of our street has an endless supply of antiques and beautiful things to sell, putting the pressure on everyone else to put out nice things. (we don't roll like that tho). so the night before, youngblood, who is carless, demands a ride back here from his mothers. and of course, husband complies. so now i've got the 2 of them squabbling, the dog trying to attack them, a pile of God-knows-where-he-got-it-from "merchandise" ANd AND i lent my table to aunt debbie. (the dog's aunt). i could just move. add into the mix that my husband overdrank, and there is a storm brewing in my bonnet. nothing gets done. i'll skip the actual details about the sale except this one: there is something surreal about a Mennonite woman strumming your son's guitar-for-sale in your very own driveway trying to put the arm on you to lower the price to $10. on a $130 guitar that you only want $45 for anyway. it was just odd. ands she stared unblinking at me with steely righteous eyes while doing it. i gathered my essence and said sorry $45. she continued to strum. i wanted to ask if she knew "Dominique" or "Free Bird" but felt that would be innappropriate, or worse- she'd charge me for the performance. so she finally set it down and left. i got out the garlic, crossed myself (i think i did it right...left, right, up, down?) (i'm a lot of religions but haven't gotten to Catholic yet. just ask my mother-in-law), hugged a tree and asked the low-flying crow to protect me from whatever evil wrath i incurred by not lowering the price. it was a good guitar. oh - and in the box of bookks i tried to give away (buyt 1 get 20 free) i found a book i just bought. so ANYway, after all this, i declared a driveway party. now, i live on a great streeet of neighbors. we're all in the same financial boat, so tehre's no keeping up with the neighbor thing. and in the summer, when the mood strikes, we gather at the end of someone's driveway to have a soda, or a beer, and just hang out and be neighborly. as the summer progresses, the snack competition gets into full swing and the gatherings take on Snack Epic proportions. but last night was impromptu, so just some little weiners on sticks in the chimera someone brought down (in a wheelbarrow, of course) and chips. and The Slushy Stff. who knew a liquid with that much alcohol would actually freeze? and taste so good? both cups? who knew you could actual end up with Phantom Legs from a little cup of ice and some green stuff in it? Pick Me! Pick me! i now know. so meanwhile i have lost the entire point of this post and diva is up and rattling her tags, so i have to go let her out. i'll get back to you. L
at 8:13 AM
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Happy Mother's Day Mariah! her eggs are hatching! http://www.rfalconcam.com/ she's so beautiful. the babies are not so beautiful...only a mother could love. but they grow fast and soon become the magnificent falcons i love! so check her out....sometimes you can see Kaver on the lightpost outside the nest (scrape) bringing food home. i'm exhausted right now and diva is just absolutely not to be deterred from her mission to get my full attention, so bye for now! l.
at 6:53 PM
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
finally a borrowed picture from that mountain villa place in St. Thomas. my husband has his arm around some older woman....might be me, but i won't say for sure. i think i'm much younger/slimmer/less grayer etc). **so have i mentioned (probably 97 times) that i'm going to an art workshop thing for many day in September? i leave on a wednesday and return on sunday. it's on the same site where they filmed On Golden Pond. the "compound" is gi-normous. what? do i have the money yet? not so much. but i will. i have 2 weeks left and $580 to go, and yes my brakes just went today, and yes i didn't get a paycheck last week due to the unauthorized vacation time, and yes, stepdaughter AND stepson's tuitions are both due, and blah blah blah. y'all....i AM GOING. i've put off and put off. and as you all know (say it with me...) I AM 50 AND I AM AN ARTIST. ok so now that that's settled. so i'm coming down from my turtle/beaver frenzy. i know i've done all i can do and i think it's been a lot. maybe even enough. and today was able to make an incredible necklace for angelfriend georgia. i can't WAIT to give it to her. have i ever mentioned to you just how incredibly blessed i feel i have been? true true. even on a cruddy rainy day like today. even when my husband comes into the bathroom while i'm in the shower and tramples all over my Zen. so this workshop is in september....have you started a 50/50 pool yet as to when i'll start packing? oh - and btw...i'll be driving. yes. all the way to New Hampshire. alone. so how about another 50/50 concerning just how far from the house i get before i get lost? (WHAT? a BLOCK??? who said that?) i anticipate at least 5 freak-outs before now and then. at least 1 weekly bawl-n-drown from pre-missing my diva...oh sniff here comes one now. yes, i know i am unnaturally attached to that dog. i make no excuses. yes she has issues. yes she needs a check-up from the neck-up. but she is my girl. if i had a child, it would be no less insecure and messed up, so just thank your stars i have a dog, and not some confused teen running away to your house every week asking if they can stay at aunt so-and-so's because their mom is impossible. so my steppers are downstairs making some sort of trouble now, so i must go restore fear and order. i swear i could just drink. L.
at 7:30 PM
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
the traps are gone. husband and I met with the guy who saved the Canada goose and he showed us where they were. we saw the stakes in the ground that held the wires to the traps, but the traps are gone. the stakes are gone now too. except for 2 that say "no traps...we're watching." hmmm. who put that there? no evidence of beavers either though. i hope they found a more hospitable place to be themselves. i'm tired. i haven't eaten yet. i need a drink. but i don't drink. what an amazing few days...on both sides of the scale. speaking of amazing....my angelfriend Georgia is an amazing woman. i call her my manager, because she has pushed and tugged me into believing in myself as an artist. she has opened doors for me, then shoved me through them... made connections for me and encouraged me and opened 4-thousand emails from me ...happy, sad, scared, ecstatic, hopeless, stupid...you name it. she is my touchstone for what can be possible. and...she has just had her 2nd book of poetry published! it's available here: http://www.mainstreetrag.com/store/books.php it's called Doom Weaver. (3rd line down, second from the left). i highly recommend it. and the cover art is done by another amazing woman, Cathy Gibbons. an incredible artist. she takes a blank computer screen and makes art. she programs the pixels and colors. she makes colors that didn't exist before. it's been hard for her to show her work because everyone assumes she took a picture and photoshopped it. but nope. she took Nothing and created Something. she is wonderful. her art is wonderful. i am hungry. goodnight! L
at 8:55 PM
Monday, May 05, 2008
i called the rehabber to check on Bondi during lunch. she said it didn't look good, but that he'd fooled us once....at least i know we gave him a chance. what a magnificent being he is. tonight we go to check to see if we can see any traps. if so, and there's a way to pull them out, we will. the newspaper is interested in doing a story, i think, and that would sure help. these guys are cowards and back down when there's the slightest public pressure. please call them. even anonymously. i'll update again in a bit - diva is shreiking for a walk. L.
at 7:43 PM
Sunday, May 04, 2008
update: just got a call from the rehabber. her husband tapped Bondi's eye. it blinked! tapped the other eye. it blinked. tail moved. they gave him 300 ml's or cc'c (whichever is bigger) of fluids, and he soaked it up like a sponge! he's starting to move a bit now! she said he isn't out of the woods yet, but i'm pretty amazed so far! i am a firm believer that no bad thing happens without a reason. i've seen it too often in my own life. i still whine and kvetch while it's happening, but in the back of my mind i also say, "can't wait to see what good will come of this." well, if the turtle hadn't played possum, then i would never have found out about the traps. so there you have it. i truly hope this magnificent animal makes a full recovery and goes on the be the snapping bane of existence to many a fish, but his little trick sure did the trick in helping his pond-mates out. or at least i hope i am able to get a change made here. it won't be for lack of trying i assure you. L.
at 9:03 PM
this is a post about nature. and whether or not people should interfere with nature. for about a week, i've been taking diva dog on her usual walk over the bridge and through the echo echo tunnel and down around the Other pond and past the monkey tree. well, just across the path from the Other pond, we met Bondi. a huge handsome snapping turtle. hanging out by the trunk of a tree. it's egging time for most of nature and i was excited and grateful that i was being allowed to share in the cycle of life. a few naturewatchers would stroll by from time to time, all just blown away by Bondi's size (about 50 lbs) and also, in the miracle of Nature. after a few days, though, it seemed to me that the process was taking an awful long time, and Bondi was not raising her head to greet me. threateningly or otherwise. so this morning, husband and i went to check on her. she was not moving. but such is the sneaky nature of snapping turtles. when you least expect it...expect it. but we knocked on her shell, and my husband finally (in tears) picked her up to move her closer to the pond. maybe she was weak from egging and couldn't get there. meanwhile i worked the cell phone trying to reach anyone who could examine her. finally an answer from an angel...an animal rehabber who lives about 10 minutes from us. to meet this woman...you just feel so insignificant in light of the work she does at no charge. we have brought her pidgeons kicked by horses, and all manner of un-domestic beings. no charge. so we put Bondi in the car and off we went. our fears were realized when she put a stethascope to his main artery in his tail. (well she quickly determined that Bindi was a Bondi....a "he" not a "she.") Bondi was gone. that amazing, huge, and very very old turtle was gone. i felt crushed with guilt. all week watching as he grew weaker. i know i know...i thought differently. and i know the Nature is Nature argument. but i just felt like i should have done something sooner. my husband was unashamed in his tears. we left Bondi with the rehabber, glad at least that he would be given rest with the dignity that he deserved. while we were there, we learned that the Community Association were we live has set "live" traps to "trap" the few beavers that have found their way into the large pond where Bondi lived. now i say that in quotations because the traps are set underwater. and only checked on fridays by the DEC. against their own law, by the way, that says traps be checked every 24 hours, and what the hell kind of new species of beaver are they after that could hold it's breath 24 hours, let alone 7 days? you tell me. just tell me. and do not get me going about traps in the first place. these traps are meant to catch and drown. no more and no less. they were discovered when a neighbor by the pond heard a ruckus and when he looked out, a female Canada goose was tossing a fit by the shore. her mate was flapping in the water, but not going anywhere. the man feared some sort of net or underwater predator had grabbed the goose, so he set out 2x4's and attempted to reach the bird. that's when he discovered the goose had a leg and wing stuck in a trap. i am so far past disgusted and horrified...i cannot find the words here to tell you how enraged i am by this. i have contacted a friend who works at the local paper, and intend to call all my former reporter friends on monday. it may not seem like a huge story to them, but just maybe the senseless killing and maiming of wildlife will get as much attention as the senseless killing and maiming done downtown person-to-person. and this in an area that touts itself as a nature area, with a picture of a Great Blue Heron as their logo. i am pissed and people will know it by monday night. if you have a moment, please call or email the Radisson Community Association in Baldwinsville NY and tell them to stop the trapping. i will also be contacting the DEC (a GOVERNMENT agency) (it stands for Dept. of Environmental CONSERVATION for godssake) on monday to see why they are breaking their own law. perhaps they'd like to speak on the record with the media. not so much, though i think. i am just in a tornado over this. i need a walk. L.
at 4:04 PM