Thursday, December 30, 2010
they say man's best friend is a dog. i have to add that a young girl's best friend is a horse. and my PerfectStepDaughter's horse is gravely ill. Sonny is her Love. she has been at the barn for 2 days now, willing him to get better. he is 24 and has a virus, caught from other horses at the barn. her vet is on vacation. they are both in need of your prayers. i will be spending the night with her out there tomorrow, should that be an issue, because my love for her is stronger than my fear of a large animal with teeth and hooves that isn't in it's right mind. (i've had experience with that part, as Tara would attest to). so if i don't call or email back right away, that's probably where i am. there is a beginning here, also, that i can clearly see, but will keep to myself for now. and i double-promise a decent post in the next few days. thanks for checking in, despite the wimpiness of the posts.
at 6:08 PM
it seems like i've had no time to post anything thoughtful, or fully formed lately. not to mention be in the studio for any extended time. but i plan to change that. right now my studio is torn apart as i purge and make room for the huge new printer. part of my 2011 plan is to reach out to more galleries and different venues, to show my art. this morning i looked up the Main Street Gallery website...they are a small gallery in a small town, but with a big presence. they are closing. so many galleries and art venues have closed or are cutting back, that i felt i should say - if you have a favorite gallery, visit it. often. let the owners know how important their gallery is to you, with words and (if possible) purchases. they live on commissions. so that painting that takes your breath away may not be there tomorrow...buy it today. there is a new gallery in my area called Szozda Gallery. this post isn't about a free advertising oppty...it's about the small business owner trying to compete. i have had a wonderful relationship with Caroline for many years, both through the Delavan gallery, and now her own space. (the Delavan closed earlier in the year). much of my jewelry is there, and soon some of my collages. please visit her. she has made an effort to have a beautiful selection of works there by local and internationally known artists. she has made a conscious effort to have price points for everyone. ask to see the paintings by Phil Parsons, in particular. they are masterfully done, with an Old Master feel. the hook? there have been some very famous people that stiffed him for his work, and they have been painted into this collection. i suggested a show called "screwed over and fed up." he is not the only one that they've stiffed, which is what some of them have gained their notoriety for. Lawyers, doctors, other well-known people. and some you don't know. but the painting are remarkable all in themselves, without the ah-ha attached. my point is, if you enjoy a gallery, it is especially important to buy something from them now, if you are able. for the artist's sake, and for the gallery's sake. it saddens me that so many smaller galleries are closing. they aren't likely to re-open "when times get better." oy such cloudy thoughts so early in the morning. okay - go buy art and have a good day.
at 5:25 AM
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
today is my birthday. another person at work shares the same day, but is exactly half my age. i love my birthday more than any other day...even if there were no presents, no calls, no cake, no remembering on any one's part. i just love it that there's one special day just for me. even though i share it with, oh, probably a few other people in the world, it still feels so special to me. i know - i guess it sounds indulgent and spoiled, but honestly, it isn't like that. i've always been a person who needs there own little corner all to herself... a secret hiding place to read comic books and eat licorice, all tucked in somewhere cozy. and this feels like a secret little thing - unless i tell someone, they wouldn't know it's My Day. but i would inside. so my wish for myself this next year? to continue on my Path. to continue the Good Work i've begun within, and in the world. to stock my legacy...to build sweet remembrances and lasting connections and to reach out more. i'm sure there's more, but i am cake-drunk and tired out from a 4am alarm clock. so off to bed for me. and a wish to you for a happy year - no matter when you start the timer.
at 9:38 PM
Sunday, December 26, 2010
...all the juicy drama-filled, screaming, crying, gnashing of the teeth details about my christmas day. guess what? no drama. none. in fact, the past week has been one of the best weeks we have had as an adult family. despite a visit from the Dark Clouds. stepson has become a remarkable singer/songwriter, and as long as he kept playing, there was peace in the valley. PerfectStepDaughter - what can i say? perfect. for christmas, she got me a gift card at the Real Live art supply store in town - had to get directions, fight traffic and go all the way downtown to get it. but the part i like best was on the card she wrote: "to the coolest stepmother." i'm cool! i had nothing to say - you know when people say "my heart was swelling?" i now know what they mean. it was a Michael Landon/Little House on the Prairie moment if i ever had one. everyone was calm and relaxed and not an angry word was spoken. even THE DOG was laid back and didn't even think about biting anyone. yowza. and when my MIL came over last night, i put Diva in protective time out in the upstairs bedroom, figuring her little keppie was about to explode with all the good behavior. i didn't notice that kitten was locked in the same room, till about an hour into the visit i heard the unmistakable "shwish swish swish" of her clawless paws on the door, so i let her out. but no fussing between her and diva. that, my friends, was the best gift of all - a cool, relaxed, family time. i know my guardian angels are probably tipping a few today after all the energy they've had to exert! today i got up at 4am, made art (!) and am rearranging my studio to accommodate the Epson 2880 big daddy got me. can i get a witness here? amen. which is kind of cool, because i got him a Spyder3 monitor calibrator that he's been talking about, so we can borrow back and forth. a little. Broseph came by this afternoon for a while for tea and another go at christmas. i miss him in between visits, even though we make each other crazy a lot. next weekend is the official Posting Of The Workshops for Squam. all these hidden things...it's killing me, i tell you. first christmas...then birthday...then Squam workshops. my head will explode. you know how i hate to see a wrapped present. hate it. my fingers itch & twitch till i notice i've unwrapped something. carefully. and re-wrap it. carefully. but my mother warned husband, so he is wise to my ways, dammit. i have decided that "Legacy" is definitely my word for 2011. it found me. i have no choice. how about yours?
at 3:24 PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
did you stay up to watch the lunar eclipse the other night? during one of diva's midnight pee parties, i looked up, and saw the most magnificent pink sky. it was around 2:30am. the pink sky made up for the red eyes in the morning. speaking of colors, i've been battling the blues in earnest the past 2 days. plus, i'm really worried that the christmas packages i sent out last tuesday have gotten lost. that would be a total ruination. i refuse to spend time bitching and moaning here...there isn't really anything to bitch & moan about...just a strong urge to grab my pillow and roll up in a warm, fluffy down comforter. for about 2 months. maybe 3. 4 tops. diva's at mom's for the week. mom has an innate ability to hear when i'm overwhelmed with just breathing in and out, and kidnaps the dog for a few days. don't get me wrong, i would wrestle a coyote for that pup, but she doesn't get the loving she needs when i'm all out-of-sorts. and she deserves that. so the spoilage will continue at Camp Grandma's house. i'm going to stop here and go play in paint (but not blue!) and try to chase this mood. there's a girl at work with the same birthday as mine, and she has a huge countdown calendar on her wall...someone who loves their birthday as much as me! i do believe tiaras will be dresscode.
at 7:47 PM
Monday, December 20, 2010
so after all....it was the most amazing tree-getting experience...the plan: Diner breakfast at 10am, followed by traipsing through the Christmas tree farm to find the Perfect tree, then home to decorate and eat roast. i underestimated how bad i'd feel for the poor tree. and overestimated the height of the ceiling. but the decorations - spot on...billions of them...Texas Gaudy. yes! it glows and sparkles and twinkles and i love it with all my heart. we went with aubergine and gold. the first year that it didn't look like a few Jewish people decorated it. we decided to leave the kids kindergarten cheerio decorations off this year, until they can be re-preserved...most of the cereal eaten by mice, no doubt. scary that the cereal is still edible. we feed that to our kids! explains a lot. and except for a few moments of ugly behavior between husband & stepson (who is featured modeling in a magazine), the day was a bright sparkling reason to hug life. and in that twinkling glow that remained today, i figured it was as good a time as any to let my husband know that i am giving 6 weeks notice at work. my body is no longer cooperating with the whole 8-5 routine, and it really is my turn to be me. so, i will leap. he is terrified, i can tell, and although i feel for him, i will wait for the compassion before returning the favor. and there is a lure and pull north and east, so it is a lovely time to be me, actually. i'm off to bed....g'night y'all.
at 8:12 PM
Friday, December 17, 2010
isn't it such an incredible feeling when you can be a Good Samaritan? Like this morning: i got stuck at the end of the driveway...wedged up on an island of snow. my neighbor heard the wheels going nowhere and came out with a shovel and a strong back. Husband is still in CT, so it was me vs the snow this morning. till the neighbor came out and quick as a wink had me motoring. and as i la la la'd to work, i came across a minivan buried nose first in a huge snowbank. the taillights were lit, so it was occupied. i decided to return the favor of the universe and stopped to see if everyone was okay. the driver was a young-ish woman (late 20's) who seemed rattled but fine. she said "they" started yelling in the back and distracted her. i assumed she had kids in the car, but she said everyone was fine. she couldn't open her doors because the snow had them wedged in, so i called 911 to send a tow truck. an old work pal of mine answered and we got to chat for a bit. more sugardust from the universe, i thought. since help was on the way, and no one was hurt, i headed to work...i could just about make it on time. since i turn my cell phone off at work, it wasn't until lunchtime that i saw 9 calls and 1 message from a restricted number...the police would be grateful if i called back. long story short - the minivan was stolen, and those weren't kids in the back. holy crow! it just finds me. new topic: have you ever met someone...a person that everyone adores...who seems like a perfectly nice person...and you yourself are a nice person...and you each have things in common, and friends in common...but darn it if you just rub each other the wrong way for some inexplicable reason? is it just me? i doubt it. and year after year, i try to make sense of it, and try to do my part to make this ugly feeling go away, but the minute any mutual contact is made, there is an ugly not-like-either-of-us cloud that rises up and just makes us want to walk in the opposite direction from one another. now, how do you overcome this? no wrongs have been done, no harsh words, no disrespect or overstepping of boundaries...nothing. just that gut-level feeling. mutually. and there are times throughout the year when we must spend time together. we've never discussed this, but the body language and other unspoken senses all speak loud and clear. both of us are reasonable, wonderful people. i want this gap closed, though. i want the cloud to dissipate. we may never be close friends, but there is no place in either of our lives for this kind of thing. and who knows - maybe we are more alike than we think, and just maybe that's the problem. so what's to be done? your thoughts?
at 7:25 PM
Thursday, December 16, 2010
the question was asked: do you have much snow? here is the answer: yes. and this blurry picture, taken with my phone from inside my car, this was last night, before another few feet came to visit. it is unmeasurable. it has ceased to be pretty or welcome, much like that cute toddler you agreed to babysit who has a stomach bug, you find out much too late to reneg, is not potty trained, and has thrown any toy within reach at your head. so the quick answer is: yes, we have a lot of snow.
at 5:16 AM
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
ok i get it...i get it! for 2 weeks now, every time i turn around, the word "legacy" is smacking me in the face. Legacy. and it's around this time that i start thinking about my Word For The Year, which in turn becomes a meditation of the year past and the year to come. i've learned to choose my word carefully, in the way i have become careful about what i wish for. but Legacy it will be. and in my family, a nice girl's day out could be anything from a pedicure to funeral planning for sport and preparedness. we're a crazy group of wild women. well, group, not so much - just me & mom. but the lineage (oh - the legacy) is there, so we carry the spirit of those who have gone before us....a nervous, prepared bunch, as it turns out. in fact, as i chortle at my mom's still-full pantry (uber packages of Ramen noodles for Y2K..."so how were you planning to cook them, anyway, ma?) i realize that i have boxes of BandAids...many boxes. and Purel. in case an epidemic of paper cuts breaks out, no doubt. it's just one of those things that i always wonder if we're out of, so i pick it up. and it turns out - we will never be out of either product. (back up - remember Y2K?) ok. so i took a look at my mother's life, the parts i admired, and the parts that make my teeth grind. and guess what i found? yup. my own self. (but older of course, and without all the noodles). funny about that. what a legacy is left. and don't get me wrong, she was picked as my mom for a reason, do tell, but it does make a person itch a bit like wet wool. well, not a person - this person. which brought me back to the checkered flag of legacy. so much has happened in the past few days...mercury in retrograde? maybe. full moon? who knows. but like a werewolf peeling out of his skin and growing to become something entirely else, so have i. and have not been without my werewolf moments. this must be what a chick feels like as it tries to peck through that egg to get out. ya gotta think at some point, it's going "peckpeck, peckpeck. alright already! where's the damn air? the sky? food? let me out of here!" or so i imagine. and i have been (forever) moving toward that fresh air and open sky, but really now, how long can a chick stay in that rotty shell? step out fortheloveofgod. i have been doing the hokey pokey with any/all decisions in my life for so long, even I can't stand to listen to myself. (so i thank you for your endless listening skills). time to cowboy up, take a step and keep moving. i have a strong intuition about a few things. and that enormous feeling hits me, unbidden and apropos of nothing, often. and in order for the sequence of events to begin their charmed domino dance, i must get myself ready. so, to quote my friend Christine, Today: Begin.
at 8:46 PM
Saturday, December 11, 2010
it was a balmy 38-degrees today, with actual sunshine peeking out for a few seconds. i had three THREE lists with errands that had to be done today...tomorrow a Big Storm threatens. yes - accomplished almost everything. 2 important things did not get done, but maybe early early tomorrow. i met some incredible people today and may have hooked into doing some studio work again, which would be a nice creative break from spreadsheets. through a series of conversations, i have a casual interview/chat thing with the new director of the contract negotiation department some time next week. that would be good. so a lot of really positive things are happening. i'm exhausted though, and have really had to pace myself. hit the couch around 3 for a quick snooze, and never really shook off that logey, napped-too-long feeling. made a valiant attempt to pack up some goodies to get them out the door monday, but ended up chasing my own butt in circles. one of the errands not accomplished, i realized, was getting boxes to pack stuff up in. but i decided to treat myself to a nice cup of tea - i bought some of that blooming flower tea, and plopped it in my clear glass mug, waiting for the magic. i underestimated the creepiness factor. it looked like a giant bug in there, all swimming around. and to be honest, although it smelled wonderful, i couldn't bring myself to drink it...all spidery and (insert shudder)squiggly. so it was non-blooming, super caff for me. just me and the 4-leggeds in the house tonight. diva is bored out of her mind, as she follows me from room-to-room feeling ignored. she had 1 1/2 walks today, so she should be grateful. i think i will walk myself tomorrow if the weather decides to take a pass on making my area more miserable. there's a lot to be said for a day on the couch, though...a good book, some hot cocoa, fire in the fireplace, diva snuggling up. i guess i thought i had a more interesting day than it looks on paper, so i won't bore you further...but know this: i am unreliable when it comes to mailing things on time. so if your christmas gift doesn't arrive till, oh say, january something, it's a character flaw in me...not you. i didn't forget. although it will be a moderate christmas this year. oh just shut up already Linda. walk away.
at 9:19 PM
"Post a picture of the snow!" she asked me. and i though about it, but in the end decided not to. you can imagine (maybe): 48" of snow in 2-3 days. it started snowing on Saturday, and i thought "look at those fluffy, beautiful snowflakes! each one is perfectly different!" By tuesday, wednesday, THURSday, when it hadn't stopped not even for a minute, i thought, "those cold little bastards have ganged up on us again this year. they have tricked us with their individuality and their photogenic qualities and have made a nightmare of things." you can imagine (maybe): having to get up an hour early every morning (is it possible??) in order to leave time to shovel your car off. that's after your plow man has come. because he doesn't shovel the snow OFF your car. just the driveway. yes, i said shovel off your car. imagine if you can: having to put a dot of pink something on your white dog's head, so you can find her in the snow when she goes out back to do her business and wanders down the trails you've had to shovel for her because the snow is double yes DOUBLE her height and she gets lost because it's just all white and is very much like a house of mirrors to her at that point. imagine. and AND it's just the first snow. which is usually all la la la and melts quick. tomorrow is a sleet storm, so the snow will pretty much be encased in ice for the duration. it's kind of interesting in the spring, when it finally melts, to see all the things you left out there reappear like modern mastodon bones in an archaeology site..."Oh the lawnchairs!" "oh! the kayaks." "Oh the neighbors kid!" anything that didn't move fast enough. today is a 3-list day...rough draft of random errands...heading/subheading with detail...euhlerized with the most efficient route. my theory about chaos or too much to do: list it, tame it, own it. back when i was young, and gas was under a dollar a gallon (for real people), i would flit from 1 end of town to the other without a thought or care. now, the gas is too expensive, i need frequent naps, and those young drivers are a pain in the ass. so list #3 is a godsend. it's 6:29 a.m and i'm off my list already, so i wish you happy travels, and if you live somewhere that does not get snow - please invite me.
at 6:10 AM
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
yes yes i know - this sporadic posting and whining probably has you wishing i'd lose internet connectivity altogether. well, sorry. i've been up to my eyeballs in alligators trying to keep the gallery owner happy, my boss happy, my dog happy, and yes...myself happy. in between these spinning plates is a deep abyss that i'm trying not to fall into, oh, and wrap / address / mail presents, which this year entails quite a lot more than i imagined. yes...this year i have had to moderate my christmas gifting enthusiasm, however, there are still things (secret things) that need work done on them and other things and la la la i won't tell before they can become the things that get wrapped / addressed / mailed. and that has been a spinning plate all in it's own orbit. in a good way. in a way that makes me so freaking excited that it's the time of year to GIVE! i love to give! love love surprises! except i am not to be counted on in the shipping-on-time department. things from me are always late. it's a character flaw. and every time i determine that i Will Ship On Time, oy. something happens and i don't. i intendto finish the makery and start the wrappery on saturday, so cross your fingers for me. and meanwhile, i will not whine. although i have also set an intention to start quitting smoking after the first of the year and it's freaking me out to the point where i really want to smoke. right now. two at once. but i also want to save $450 a month. yes. $450 a month. $10.50 a pack...1 1/2 packs a day....do the math. what a disgusting habit...my hair smells, my car smells, my clothes smell, my dog smells. it all smells smells smells. and i could be driving a Porsche with what i'll save. not that i would. just sayin. so off to bed so i can get up early and shovel some more snow....it's past my knees and poor diva is just a-dazzle and confused out there.
at 9:26 PM
Sunday, December 05, 2010
can i tell you...i love love love christmas shopping! love it. an open pass to shop without guilt or remorse. to buy stuff for friends and loved ones. what could be bad? as a former shopaholic (for real) this time of year tickles that part of me that says "buy it all!" but...i have firm budgets and lists in place. no longer does the sparkle and twinkle of shiny new stuff tempt me to drag out my last gasping credit card for a light-up reindeer toiletpaper holder or some such nonsense. i am a good shopper. focused. budgeted. and thrilled to be out in the energy. my Big Girl Job is performed in the quietest of quiet offices...all day...quiet...shhh...you can hear a flea fart. and if you know me, you realize that by noon, there is a serious storm in my brain. so to be out where the wild things are...people grabbing for that last whatsits on the shelf and bells ringing and people spritzing perfume at you and limited time offers, well, it's like disney for me. i can, however, resist. thanks to a new friend across the pond, Nicola, and her advice on her F* It fund. Have a goal, like quitting your job, say. and each and every purchase is weighed against that goal..."do i want this more than the goal?" Is that spanky new sweater worth more to me than quitting my job? is the $210 better socked away, or worn on my back 3 or 4 times? so that mindset has been a fantastic reinforcement to my tendency to overspend. i will indulge (if you want to call it indulgence) in a fantastic body wash or incredibly scented soap. or candle. my bathroom is my kingdom - i do my best thinking in the shower. and often, it's the promise of a great soap that tips the scales between pulling the covers over my head, and getting up and getting to it. pathetic, maybe. but it works. so the money spent on that indulgence is a pittance compared to what i'd lose in lost wages for a day off. there. justified. and righteous. today - purge & organize. closets. not my favorite on the list of things on my Must Get Done list, but it will be wonderful to get done. so - to start with thick wonderful creamy bubbles, and move on...more later...check back!
at 7:11 AM
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
I held out my hands & asked where I could help & somebody grabbed me & pointed me towards the future & said, You've got your work cut out for you & I said, isn't there anything easier? & he laughed & said you could dig around in the past, but it's just busywork & that made perfect sense so I shrugged & started right where I was, along with everyone else.
at 11:36 AM
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
or how many things you wish for...you may get them. all. at. once. and usually at the worst time. i should have listened when the gallery owner told me back at the beginning of the month..."i need a dozen pieces." and should have started making a dozen pieces of jewelry. like she wanted. but i've been so enthralled with collage that i didn't want to risk boring my collage muse, lest she flit away. so i didn't make a dozen pieces. i gave her what i had laying around and figured that would be plenty. art doesn't sell in these parts, let alone artsy jewelry. and lo! i sold a piece. then another. then 2 more. in 3 weeks. and there are 2 more definite orders. this is all good, right? and if she called, say, thursday even, and said she needed them for monday, then i could spend friday night and all weekend trying to bang some out (well, i mean making some nice pieces). but no. she didn't. and that seems to be how opportunity strikes...when you least expect it, and usually when your house isn't clean. so i did what any good artist would do when presented with this "opportunity" without the time to accomplish it. i panicked, freaked, swore vows that i would always have stock on hand, and cried. oh yes i got downright maudlin and pathetic. and flowery - "it's like my dream, my dream of all time, is right there in front of me, but my arms are an inch too short to grasp it." you get the picture. and i drove weeping & resentful to work yesterday. sang Rock Star very loud and off-key. then got over the histrionics and got busy. and guess what? last night, i learned how to solder with a torch and make bezels and cut copper pipe and learned about proper ventilation and fire. and made some bezels that i am proud to say "I did that." that would never have happened without this "opportunity." today will be words and resin and doodads and beads and chain. i made an executive decision to work at art today, and give the Big Girl Job part of my saturday. because saturday will be too late for this, but the BGJ grnds on at any hour of any day. so what have i learned: be grateful even when what you wished for comes at an inconvenient time...all the skills and knowledge will be available to you when you need it...you have friends and mentors that will give deliriously of themselves - just ask or accept their offered help...you are stronger than you know, wiser than you think (from Pooh)...keep calm and solder on. now - to step away from this glowbox in front of me and get productive.
at 7:41 PM
Sunday, November 28, 2010
or not, for some. typically, these next few months are torture for those of us prone to dark moods and lethargic times...the daylight is shorter... the list of "to do" items are longer... families converge in what is often a chaotic heap of noise and personalities, bringing the ghosts of christmas past with them...post office lines rival retail lines, as manically cheerful bells and music ring constantly and at full volume... and it can seem like an overwhelming conspiracy to steal the very joy we've worked all year to capture in our souls. it is not an easy time, as bosses strive to cram that last nickel into the bottom line and grab that hoped for fat turkey of a bonus - on our backs. this year, i'm having none of it. yes, i plan to shop and post packages (maybe even on time this year) and all the fa-la-la-la-la that's involved. but when i leave the safety and quiet of my studio, i will go fortified...knowing that people will be at their frazzled worst and parking will be a nightmare and the lines will be longer than i thought possible and clerks will be snappy and the post office will be on the edge of Going Postal and throughout all this madness that has nothing to do with the spirit of the season, i will be fortified and centered and be deeply grateful for each and every frustration...grateful that i am able to drive in a car i own, to a shop displaying beautiful and tempting goodies, and purchase (moderately) those goodies as i imagine the joy they will bring...my home is not devastated by flood or earthquake or civil unrest (of the kind that you see on the national news)...i have a home to leave from...i will have food to eat before i leave the house, and warm clothes to keep me comfortable as i walk that mile from my parking space to the door of the mall/shop. i could go on, but you get the point. in my frustrations, i will see the blessing that has "caused" the frustration. i will be overly pleasant with the snappy clerk who is probably working her 10th day of 12-hour shifts, and only wants a bubble bath in the very same stuff you are buying...or a good stiff drink. when the dusk threatens to catch me at home, or wherever i am, i will remember these "frustrating" moments and be grateful, and hope that that gratitude will grow within me and become joy that will supplant the darkness. this is my belief. and when the urge to crawl back into the dark womb of my bed hits unawares and grabs hold anyway, i will reach out to those who understand the language of dark and light, and will know that mindless chatter on the phone is a saving life raft back to the shore. i think of how many hours i have spent on the phone with conversations that started with, "no real reason for this call - just wanted to say hello," and there is a certain plea that is unspoken, and i am grateful for the trust that has been given me to know - stop everything and just chat...make some tea, sit for as long as it takes and just talk about the mundane or the deep, philosophy of paper vs. plastic, or whatever it takes to chase away the look/don't look monster peeking around someone's mental corners. you may call me. my cell phone is always on. and we can chat about the merits of cerulean blue vs. cobalt blue, or how crazy it is to shop at this time of year, or how very special you are to me...and you can simply sit quietly on your end and listen to me chatter (which God knows i can do like it's my job - oh, wait...) or cry your heart out. or whatever you wish. i will, however, at some point ask you to fortify yourself like this: close your eyes...breathe in fully, breathe out fully, hold a smile on your face for the count of 15 - no matter how fake it feels. that's it. an old gypsy trick. i'm not sure how i got going on this track this morning, but i'm certain i'll look back and say "ah ha - that's why." now, as the dawn is creeping into my window, and the coffee is done perking hot and strong, and the house is mine, save for a few 4-leggeds, i will head to the studio and make some art which, when completed, may necessitate a long wait at the post office to send out to y-o-u. and i'll be thanking God for the blessing of creativity that allows me to express my love to you.
at 6:31 AM
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I've been up since dark o'clock, burning the candle at both ends since thursday's 4am foray into bim bam out the door. and yesterday i did a lot of nothing. i had a plan, that was certain. i always have a plan on weekends, in order to maximize the short amount of time i have to get into the studio, do my Becky Home-Ecky stuff, oh yeah - and be a good Diva mom. but it all fell by the wayside yesterday as i sunk into blissful nappy on the couch. i wondered when all the hubub would catch up with me. now i know. i slept & slept and when Diva checked for my breath, i got up, let her out, then we both sunk back into the comfy cocoon of a handmade quilt. i stifled the critical voices: You Should Be Printing! Grocery Shopping! Doing Laundry! blah blah blah. i Should be doing exactly what i Was doing! today, i'll fit in the important stuff...art & soldering. i have a large collage piece i'm working on. a serious piece that's been banging at my brain wanting out for a month now. and i also have to catch up on 2 weeks worth of online classes i'm taking. that's where the soldering comes in. that's where the fire dept almost came in yesterday. using a torch to solder...a little nerve-wracking in the studio area i had set up. too many flammability issues. and who knows how i catch a fireproof solder-catcher on fire. who knows. but i think prudence and safety will take over today, letting excitement run shotgun...but a few steps behind. and i need to speak with kitten and diva, as they are having serious Species Confusion issues...i heard Crunch Crunch from the kitchen yesterday and saw them side-by-side actually touching, as kitten ate the dog's special dental food, and diva chowed down on the kitten's crunchies. and here i thought diva was being so good to eat her special Very Expensive dental food. they had to have had some sort of conversation and handshake over this arrangement, because diva does not let anyThing near her food. whether she actually wants it or not. and believe me, you know when she doesn't...the whole staring at the bowl, then a pitiful look up at you as if to say, "you Really don't get it, do you?" then a few steps backward, a glance heavenward. pause. then if she's hungry enough - a few gobbles and walk away. This is why i don't have kids. i would end up feeding them marshmallow Fluff for breakfast if they wanted it. oh hell, what? don't give me that look...we ate it & survived. that was before everything you Wanted To Eat was food from the devil...salt, sugar, fat, etc. so maybe the food's okay, but our lifestyles aren't ...like maybe it's okay to eat sardines and Fluff and Frosted breakfast cereal with a TBL of sugar added Only If you go outside after and play for 8 hours. i'll get back to you on that theory. ok - time to start the hamster wheel....have a great, productive, but safe day!
at 5:51 AM
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
What did I ever do?? it must have been tasty good. I cannot believe all the fluffy goodness crashing down on me. i just cannot believe it. (insert "unworthiness" rant here). my cube mates think i've lost the plot...tears (of gratitude) spurting out at random moments. to give you an idea - i was just gifted GIFTED free of charge nada dollars (deep breath) an Epson 2200 large format printer that is made for making archival art prints. pause. rewind. repeat. yes. yes. yes. so the chain of events is as follows: i decide to stay home last september. i (of course) change my mind and go to Squam. a class i signed up for is cancelled, and i take another class that i'm certain will bedevil me. it cracks open (my intention was to crack open) a fault line in my soul which spews forth collage after collage after collage. i decide to make prints for sale at the gallery, right around the same time my jewelry starts to sell. i find more than a few people who will scan and/or photograph my originals, and have a last minute entry into the list who quotes me an unheard of price (I wouldn't do it for this price) and AND throws in the printer of my dreams. all i need is the driver & software, so i'm hoping God will continue to smile on me and i'll be able to download it from the website. please please. so by monday, with much hard work and late hours, i should have some prints to hand to the lovely & incredible Caroline Szozda, mistress extraordinaire of Szozda Gallery. this will involve getting up at 4am tomorrow and racing through rush hour traffic to get from the far western reaches of the county to the downtown area, then the farthest eastern reaches, then lunch rush to the middle and back east. the hokey pokey. thank goodness i didn't get killed by that spider before i tanked up the other night. thank goodness my mother heard me all wound up for flight on the phone and decided to keep the diva dog 1 more night (where she is knee-deep in spoilage and chicken for all meals). Now, if this were the only whiptastic event on tap, i'd be thrilled beyond printable known words, but NO. there is oh so much more. so i guess it's a happy-face-on-the-calendar day. and the fact that my bosses heard our cries for help AND are hiring MORE PEOPLE to help...frost my cake now because i'm ready to chow...so good. right now i have about 30 minutes to finish a few touch-ups on a collage...husband comes home from his trip to NC tonight. i will blow a little blessing your way...watch for it.
at 6:12 PM
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
yes...i was a total Heart freak when i was younger than i am now. and yes...i was in a band that started out sort of religious but some of us swerved a little off the straight & narrow. and yes, i did belt out some Heart in my day...over-the-knee suede boots and all. and i still feel that same age. but once in a while, something...some reality thing...jumps up and yells "AAARRRR" and reminds me that i am not 20-something, 30-something or whatever-something...like right now - watching Heart on Palladia ... a few extra pounds on one...and a keyboard player that's quite pregnant...audience members look older - like my age. eek. oh but the music! play on ...
at 8:22 PM
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
oy vey...it has been a few weeks of incredible highs and lows...not so much bad, as challenging. and not so much good, but INCREDIBLE. if i was a person to use foul language - oh wait...i am - i would use my best, bluest, high-consonant content stuff on verizon. i would, except that after a 56 minute wait on hold, i never did reach anyone. but they realize that my time is valuable and are sorry for the wait. at least that's what i think they said - the music on hold is at volume 11, so i lost a few tonal ranges. i screamed at the recording...i cried and gnashed my teeth...i swore never NOT EVER to even use a word that starts with a "V" so as to avoid a PTSD-like situation triggered by the first letter of that hateful, uncaring company's name. and they are even ruder in person at their stores. suffice it to say that if they screw up your billing, and are threatening to shut off your husband's business phone, just go Sprint. or Magic Jack. or Skype. or Campbell soup can and string. it will be easier in the long run, because this shut-off will be the result of their 3 previous attempts to get it right, and they will have added and subtracted billing amounts so many times that they are not able to figure it out, and unwilling to say "tie goes to the runner...go in peace...$0 balance." like i used to do in my former department. i am getting re-angry, so let's change the subject while i mutter obscenities under my breath. ok. breathe. in other news...gooder news...i have had showers of blessings pouring down on me...a virtual rip tide of Good Stuff. i sat in my car at lunch today, after receiving 2 calls i was waiting for, and had to wipe the tears away. that good. soaked my chicken sandwich good. and there are big things afoot, and just teeny little twinkles of blessings...shadows of a ghost of a blessing that seems put there for the amusement and enjoyment of the Blessing Fairy. as i dripped in my car today, i heard a loud call outside, and looked to see my hawk! he was back in the tree for a brief, and loud, moment, as if to say "hello i'm going south have a good winter." i worried about him for a while, as he seemed disinclined to move on and hunt his own food - calling for mom all day in the hot sun. he finally got hungry enough. and he is fat fat fat! a few weeks ago, i went through the whole "I'm Invisible" thing. i mean, honestly...get over it, linda. but there it was. and then an incredible email conjured itself to me at The Precise Perfect Time. there were other things afoot in nearby woods that are being conjured. of this, i am certain. so i will wait with patience unknown to me and let things develop as they must...not from my hand. new topic, yet related: the award for the most pathetic whine goes to ....me! talking with my mother. "I just want to live somewhere where thermal underwear is sexy." new topic: feeling full and abundant and wonderful as i stopped for gas tonight, i doe-dee-doed my way around the car and was gripping the fueler thing when the wind blew ever so slightly, and something caught my eye near the top of the pumper roof thing....a brown recluse spider with a huge web. just about the most venomous nasty spider in this area. and as the wind blew this web, i was sure just positive absolutely certain that this thing (i can't say the word) would come flying at me with gale force momentum and kill me right there. or i would have a heart attack and just die. and then i sort of felt like maybe one had crawled down my collar and i didn't want to die naked, ripping my clothes off, hit by a car or bitten by a spider in the parking lot of the HessMart in baldwinsville. no i did not. there may be a story left behind to tell, but no rest for me in the hereafter. so i slowly just walked away. and stood there. in the rain. my car connected to the HessMart by way of a gasoline umbilical cord. and i owed $50 to the HessMart. i'm a regular there, so i went inside and told the manager as calmly as possible "there's a problem at pump 5. a Big Problem. A BIG FAT NASTY POISONNOUS SPIDER IS BLOCKING MY WAY BACK INTO MY CAR!" i may have gotten louder than i wanted, but i needed to get home. to pee. so you see the tender and tenuous state of mind i was in...starting out all happy la-la-la, then within minutes ... terror gripped my heart. this is no regular spider. google it if you don't believe me, but i warn you, squint if a picture comes up. so the manager refuses to kill it because he can't kill a living thing. translated means he's afraid too. and to be honest, it may be i caught him at a bad time for this - sober. but he does offer to walk me to my car and make sure it doesn't attack me. he Promises that he will take defensive action if the you-know-what makes the first move. sweet Jesus i'm starting to itch again. i am dubious. but need to get home. quick. i will not go in a gas station restroom. ever. which is where the spi**r probably vacations. so a disappointing end to the drama - i screwed up my courage and opened my car door, slightly pushing the manager toward the THING by accident, and i heard "uh oh" just as i slammed the door. and drove like the dickens home...whipping my hair around and scratching wherever i could, just Certain that there may have been TWO of them. i turned the heater on the seat to bake the living crap out of it, should it have attempted to shimmy down my shirt the brown bastard. who started this?? with all the good things to talk about now i'm totally freaked out and you know at 3am when a whisker glances across my cheek, i will send that whisker catapulting across the room by innocent mistake. retribution will come for me by 5am, i am certain, when i awaken to a a vomit comet racing across my bed. ok enough. time for a little easy listening music and maybe light a candle or something. hope your day was more stable.
at 7:00 PM
Saturday, November 13, 2010
TODAY...be vulnerable...be aware...be creative...smile at a sunbeam warming your face or twinkling off a prism...let your senses speak to you...open your heart...extend your hand...be grateful...be patient...surprise someone...be gentle with your self...laugh yourself silly...you are wonderful and special in all the world - don't deprive us of the gift of You.
at 8:55 AM
Monday, November 08, 2010
loved the extra hour of sleep this morning...was not happy that the hour followed me to work and continued till 5pm though! husband blew out his back totally yesterday...the whole crumpling into a heap and screaming nightmare of it. he is resting comfortably, having fortified himself with many long-named prescription drugs. the dog, feeling his pain, fortified herself with kitty box stuff. between "Bow Wow! Let me out," and "honnnnney can I have a glass of water?" i am (again) solid in my heart that i made the right choice in not having children. i, myself, have much to whine about today, but have used my superpowers to command it all to vaporize. and now i'm sitting in a quiet cozy livingroom with a handful of Halloween leftover Milk Duds, willing my dental work to stay put. yes, i know, i'm not supposed to have sugar. but i will dare Fate to come close enough for me to get a good whack at him. it will not be a fair fight. still getting over the absolute humiliation of running into my high school science teacher at the bookstore yesterday, and stammering my way through some godless remote village of conversation...not even conversation...more like oh just the nonsensical utterings that flew from my mouth as the shell of my body stood there, but the rest ran away as fast as it could shouting DAFT NUTTER! it may help you to understand my incredible lack of self preservation to know that Every high school girl had a mad crush on him...he is so far past handsome, there is no scale...he was nice, he drove a stingray corvette, and...and...he played in a band. now how much cooler could a guy get?? how may times could you sign up for remedial help without it looking obvious? how many times did we wish laura with the boobs and tight fuzzy sweaters would just Move Away? and now. here he was. i saw him, and before i could fast forward the inevitable scenario in my mind (me making a total ass out of myself) before that, the mouth opened up and said "Mr. so-and-so!" (but i used his real name). he said "Linda - i think you can call me by my first name now." 3 cells in my brain said RUN! the rest just sat in cryogenic hopelessness. i may have drooled, and not in a lascivious way. just in a duh sort of way. all those witty little pleasantries you store up...all those cocktail party conversational weiners you could casually offer up...no. i'm afraid not. so the endlessness of it went boldly on, as i as verbally tripped and mortified myself, trying to find a way out of the labyrinth...wishing with all my heart that i had been home schooled, and then would not have even met this poor man standing before me who was likely thinking "what the freak is she Talking About??" and to be fair, he wasn't helping much. i know, the entire confrontation lasted perhaps under 2 minutes, but will replay on an endless loop in my mind. at night. just as i drift off into na-na land. somewhere in my brain, someone will snap the overhead light on and hit the start button of the projector, and the Most Embarrassing Moments reel will engage sprockets and cogs, and it will be a long night, my friends. a long night. with an extra hour to boot.
at 7:49 PM
Saturday, November 06, 2010
there are many many reasons why people read blogs...to learn about new cultures and lifestyles, or learn new ways of doing things, for example. i suspect people read this blog for the invaluable life's instructions and warnings they find. you know, such as - do not ever think that you can color your hair at home and end up looking like the girl on the box. ever. first of all: she is 14. she has been professionally coiffed using products not found in the box in your hand. she has professional makeup on, has professional lighting not found in your average bathroom, and, again -she is 14. now i'll remind you that one of my sworn promises to myself on New Year's eve was to take better care of myself - inside and out. specifically to have my hair professionally colored and get a pedicure every few weeks. and never ever let my roots equal the amount of darker hair. and i did keep that promise, mostly, until a month or three ago. maybe 4. back when my hairdresser kept confusing me with my mother, and then my new hairdresser confused me with k.d.lang. So i am in search of another new hairdresser who will see me for the soulful woman that i am all on my own. but meanwhile, i had roots that were attracting moths at night, that's how bright they were. i had a box that the checkout girl at RiteAid assured me would look "like totally perfect" on me, but then went a little rogue on myself. feeling a little zippity do dah, i decided i could hi-lite my hair just as good as anyone else. yeah, okay. i did, in all fairness to the box, see the twitch in the checkout girl's eyebrow when i returned with two boxes - 1 color, one highlight. shoulda coulda wouldn'ta. but did. now, let me set the scene by telling you that the k.d. look has grown a bit into a nice canadian mullet. i am waiting for the sides to grow a bit more before i actually leave the house (kidding), but no really - before i ask yet another hairdresser to make an attempt. i am not a vain person. this whole time spent on hair thing is making me crazy. there are so many other things i want to be doing besides coloring and growing my hair. ok. so we are in my bathroom with the stuff all mixed, and the gloves on. the door is shut, having learned my lesson with the Incident of kitty vs. plaster, and i squirt the stuff on. not quite as drip-free as promised, but manageable. i'll spare the details and just say it wasn't horrible once it was all dried and ready for phase 2 - highlights. and while i was mixing the nasty blue stuff, i'm thinking "now why am i doing this,again?? i just made my hair darker to make it lighter?" but common sense was wasted. i was rockin that cap with all the dots on it, poking that crochet hook through and coming up empty more times then not. so i'd have to fish back through the little hole again. yes. making the hole bigger. duh, like i wouldn't know that and think to myself "hey - this hole is so big that the stinky blue stuff will smoosh inside and you'll have polka dots on your hair." i mean, any reasonable person would've caught that right away, right? aaaanyway. i push on. one side looks a little fuller than the other, but my arms are tired, i'm hungry, and tonight is Big Date Sushi night, so WTH. i smear the blue stuff on, and, hunh...it feels cold in places it shouldn't - like under the cap. but i suppose it's an illusion. can i stop here and say this: if you must absolutely must color and hilite your own hair in your own home because oh, maybe you spent the mortgage money on vet bills, or maybe you forgot your promise to your very own self, or because you can't find a decent hairdresser in this 1-horse town...if you must - then do it on a friday. that way you'll have half a hope of getting in to any any hairdresser who can possibly fix or even just hide what you have wrought upon your own self. no one else to blame. you did it to yourself. and the clairol hotline does not operate at full staff on saturday, if at all. another life lesson learned? no, i'm afraid this happens over and over in my bathroom. learn from me....the box lies....you will not look like her (unless you already do), it is not nice or easy, and although my roots may glow, i am frosted. pray for low lighting in the sushi place. ************************************************************* diva is progressing nicely, although has begun to wet the bed. she hasn't tried to wake me up at all, and i walk her just before bedtime. i hate to do the pampers on her, but there's nothing that will creep you out more than waking up from a dreamy sleep and your knee is in a puddle. even if it's yours, it's still not right. but when it's your dog's...that's a whole new level of yuk. ************************************************************** yes. i am still painting. i had to spend time making jewelry and worried that i'd lose my swerve with the collage thing, but it's still going strong. i have some Great news i'm hoping to share tomorrow or monday!! ************************************************************ more life lessons you probably already knew: when you're at work and listening to your iPod, do not even lip sync. don't. because your lips will become used to moving, and then OH a catchy song comes on, and you notice you're whispering along to the song, then maybe getting a little tiny vocalization in and then the singer let's an f-bomb fly, and your innocent vocalization becomes something quite much more. just don't do it. promise me. well - off to makeup & wardrobe, then sushi. don't forget to set your clocks back tonight!
at 3:58 PM
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
it may be the upcoming holidays that have made me feel the need for clarity and groundedness...if i don't hold fast to who i am, then it will be as much of a hot mess as it usually is. as in many relationships, our families don't blend well, which has left me in the center being pulled this way and that. last year, i stepped out of that and spent a fantastic thankgiving hosted by my brother...small, intimate, and wonderful. i was not responsible for anything - i was not the guardian of any one's good time, nor was i the kitchen police...all i had to do was show up. just me. there were a thousand moments large & small that came to try to steal this day of gentleness, but i rebuffed them after having made up my mind to go forward. i feel constantly torn between what i should do, and what i want to do. and yet, inside, i feel that i am authentic to myself (okay - cliche alert - it's early and i don't have much time). so therein lies the First Dilemma how can i be authentic if i am constantly disappointing myself with my choices? in the long run, yes, the easiest choice by far is to host here...i say easiest, but it's also the hardest. easiest in the afterward, but most difficult to go through, with people you'd rather not engage with on any given day coming into my home, dragging their chaos and drama with them, and not leaving until they're good and ready to. and this year's chaos & drama promises to be kicked up a few notches as most of the players have been at odds most of the year. i hadn't expected to go off on holiday dinners, but i think an inkling is popping through - i have acquiesced to my husband's wish to try to recreate Norman Rockwell for 10 years. and i pay for it. Easter sent me to the ER with chest pains a few years ago. so the question is: why am i willing to sabotage myself for another's comfort? why am i following in my mother's martyr-like footsteps, when it's the thing i most dislike? yet how can i feel strong and certain about most other areas of my life, my Self? this twinship of my spirit is something i need to meld. and i think therein lies the answer to the rest of my questions. i don't feel weak or needy or spiritually gapping...i feel strong and bold and certain. yet...
at 5:42 AM
Monday, November 01, 2010
did you ever hit a spot where you were faced with your own truths? the little dustbunnies that rabble around your psyche...and you try to ignore them like overdue laundry or that thing you know you should do, like go through the closet of old clothes in sizes you can't even remember wearing... but you just hope they'll go away...those truths about yourself that you don't want to look at too closely, lest you have to decide - keep or throw out? did you ever get to that spot? and you know you have a choice - kick those dustmotes to the corner again, or clear them out once and for all...my truths - which may be partial lies i tell myself - or lies that were told to me and somehow took root - i think it's time to air them out...while i'm in a really good place of my spirit to do so...and feeling really honest with myself...when the mirror will reflect truth. one....two...three...
at 9:00 PM
Sunday, October 31, 2010
today i give myself permission ... to do nothing. unless i want to. it's been a long time since i had any "down" time. you know i'll end up doing everything i normally would! but there's something more relaxing & enjoyable about doing things when you don't have to. or that there's a list of things and you have to cram them in within a certain amount of time. tonight, Halloween, for the first time in 9 years, happy hunter husband will be home to greet the childrens. so...diva, kittone and i will be locked away in the studio for safe-keeping. so i have the day to play, knowing i;ll have studio time set aside tonight. i think i'll start my day/non-day now...a nice bath and a little toenail polish. have a great day!
at 6:16 AM
Friday, October 29, 2010
i needed a little good news...more of my jewelry is selling at the gallery! i have a mandate - an absolute or-else-order - from the gallery owner to give her 12 pieces on monday. which should be tricky since i have to go to my Big Girl job for 1/2 day saturday to make up for wednesday. normally i'd blow it off, but yesterday (and how i missed all this i'll never know) they walked a girl out for absentee time that wasn't made up. followed by an all-staff email today about how we owe the company 40 hours a week. so my exit plan just got easier! although i'd hate to burn that bridge after all these years. but...unemployment can be a great motivator. the weirdest thing happened this morning as i trudged to the office door through gale force wind and whipping cold rain with my inside-out umbrella. i got raging furious mad mad mad...like Don't Make Me Take My earrings Off mad. at my 1st husband. who has been deceased since, well, let me think, anyway a Long Time. longer than 10 years. this hateful storm welled up inside me and a silent spewing of Mad went on of the How Dare You Leave Me in Debt of That Size type of mad. and it went on for a while (it's a long walk to the door, and i'm good at making a point) with the How Dare You's triumphing over rational thought, only to be joined by the YOU OWE ME's and an absolute Demand that wherever he may have ended up (bets off) he had better arrange for a lottery win or some type of major Donald Trump-sized windfall and quick. now, i'm not of an entitlement mindset, and i sure haven't had a problem making my own way. but with the wind and rain and umbrella all conspiring against my zen, and the fact that on the other side of the door, should i reach it, was a pile of paperwork and unreasonable demands on my good nature, i snapped. and it actually was the first time in many years that i had even thought of him, so to have this conversation with him was remarkable in so many ways...aside from the fact that it was also the longest conversation we had since we said I Do. (i say "conversation" but it was totally one sided). so by the time i reached the door and heaved my battered self inside, nearly knocking over Phyllis with the mailcart, i was ready for a rumble. i squish to my cube, and one teammate is not in yet, and the other's cube is empty, but recently occupied. it does not appear to be the start of a good day. i'll spare you the yadda yadda-ness of the whole complexity, but i am glad to be home in my baggy sweats with a puppy on one side and kujo kitty nearby looking for flies. s/he is the Fly Whisperer. goes bonkers over bugs. every summer day, we leave the slider open to the 2nd floor deck so s/he can sit outside - s/he's an indoor declawed cat (s/he came that way so don't get on me) and if we forgot to close up before dark...yes, a present for us. with an important announcement. i say "s/he" because kitty is actually a "he" but looks so delicate and has a girl's name, so i call him "her." the cutest thing - diva was laying on couch the other day (well, everyday, but this incident happened the other day and never before). and kitty was in her special spot on the back of the couch, and ever so slowly and gently reached her paw down and began to pet the dog. actually petting her. on the head. doggie opened her eyes, and kitten slowly pulled her paw back, lest she lose that along with the claws. it was touching, and reminded me of when Kita started licking Bear between the eyes a few days before Bear died. of course that sweet moment turned on me, and so you can understand why i would pay heaven and earth to get a good diagnosis and treatment for my last love. ramble ramble...yes, the husband went to his manly man hunting camp today to spend hours in a tree with his BFF. neither has the heart to actually shoot anything, and have only come home with great photos in the past few years. which i am good with. i pretend he's on a business trip. so speaking of husbands, it should be interesting if i'm as scary to the dead as i am to the living when i get my mad on...buy lotto tickets, just in case.
at 6:42 PM
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
i am mad tired, so this will be a brief outline of the day...today the girls - mom, me and diva - traveled to the Cornell Vet College to their Companion Animal Hospital to have Diva checked out. This place is THE place for animals, with the vet college right there. i was hoping for a diagnosis. i was expecting a cold, clinical experience. i was right and i was wrong...from the moment we walked through the doors, it was a warm, caring, compassionate place, chock full of the best of the best in the veterinary field. more specialists per square exam room. diva felt like the princess she is, and only made 1 complaint (when they sampled a spot in her ear), and otherwise cooperated beautifully. we met with a 4th year student Dr., and then the head of the dermatology dept - a self-described old California hippie, and 46-er (it's an ADK thing). i loved them, i trusted them, and we left with a diagnosis. and a bill that was about $300 smaller than i had anticipated. my regular vet here had gotten her back up about us going there and spent 15 minutes on the phone cranking about it yesterday, but was shocked when i told her i already had an appointment...a miracle - it usually takes weeks to get in and i called yesterday morning and got in today. she said (after a long pause) "really? you must be important. it takes weeks to get an appointment." i responded that i am. diva has 3 different infections going on, and none of them would be helped by the nasty prednisone she had been put on. she was in the weaning off stage, and Dr. Scott at Cornell said that back in the day they never weaned animals off - just stopped the drug - and there were no ill effects. so she is off the prednisone, and has ear drops and we will be giving her plain old zinc to clear up some of the yuk. ok so this was not brief. there were dogs there with cancer and dogs with broken legs and cats and birds with owners with hopeful, worried faces. and we all had the look of people making a great sacrifice to bring our best friends there. i cannot recommend this place of hope and compassion and skill any higher than to say this: i trust them with my love's life. my inner momma bear said "good." and diva has slept and slept and drank and drank and peed and peed for hours since we came home. the drinking/pee-ing cycle should taper as the drug leaves her body. and momma bear should get some sleep. speaking of which......
at 10:53 PM
Monday, October 25, 2010
from the Storypeople I remember we sat in the swing on the front porch & as the dusk came on us like a song, dark throated & sweet, he told me about the beginning when we had bones of light & hair that burned like the sun & I asked what happened then? & I felt him floating there in the soft dark & finally he said we forgot & I said I never would, but sometimes I do & I understand now why he put his arm around me & said nothing more.
at 8:40 PM
here's my submission for the "RENT" show: photographed by the uber-talented Tamaralee ( www.tamaralee.biz )
at 7:08 PM
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Perfect Stepdaughter was home again this weekend. we took her to brunch today at my most favorite place evah. this is where i got married, and have stayed here many times...room #2 on the 2nd floor, with the 4-season porch that overlooks the lake...i could live there, i really could. speaking of living somewhere - on the way home, we passed a realtor's sign and stepdaughter (who was the chauffeur for the day) pulled a U-Turn..she had seen glimpses of this house when riding in competitions and wanted to see it up close. we pulled down the loooong driveway, passing a small house with a nice chimney, then a huge huge red barn, and finally - can you guess? a cobblestone house. well, actually the from was fieldstone. but...remember my DreamPrayer? a cobblestone cottage with a huge barn for a studio/workshop and a separate house on the grounds to rent out to pay the mortgage. that had been my fervent prayer for months till God finally said Enough I Get It. so now here i sit in a car with a GirlWoman who i am certain will some day save the world, who has become a Blossomed person with a warm, caring heart, but knows her mind and sets her goals and her boundaries. and there.is.my.dream. peek here. only $600K separates me from this dream. ***diva is home, and is drinking like a camel at the oasis after a long trip with a very heavy person riding her. it promises to be a night of little sleep. her lesions look the same, which i guess is good, in that they aren't worse. ***had some emotional moments tonight when i stumbled across a vimeo done by a Squam bud. the most incredible, deepest homesickness washed over me, and i admit to tears. and that strangling thing that happens in your throat when you're trying not to bawl. i got an email from a friend today who was describing her experience at Squam, and she said that she felt like she had been repatriated with her tribe. and that clicked so much with me. i work and live with people - co-workers, neighbors, family - that are nice enough, but don't speak the same HeartLanguage as i do...and i always thought it was me. but after meeting a forest full of like spirits, i realize this language we all speak, it has no sound...there are no vowels or consonants...there is no past tense or future tense - only the moment that lasts forever in a seed-safe in the heart...and although the language has no sound, it has a resonances, an OM that touches the fiber of the essence of each and connections are formed...and that's why it doesn't matter one whit what you look like or what you wear or where you're from or how much money or artistic experience you have or any any any thing ...because those things are not a part of this language...and this is what the essence of my spirit, and my heart of hearts longed for tonight...for a roaring fire and knitting and a glass of wine and a cabinful of the greatest people you can imagine ever meeting...rain on the roof would be a bonus...so i am wishing away the days again, but also deciding that there just must be other women here in this teeny tiny town who are homesick for their own version of a lakeside retreat, who wouldn't mind an evening by my fireplace, knitting and having a glass of wine and just maybe we'd all go search for yet more like-minded hearts ... and maybe just maybe $600K isn't such a big deal to God, and the KitaBear Respite house will open it's doors. things happen.
my angelfriend Georgia introduced me to one of the most amazing women the other night as we ate sushi and celebrated G's birthday...a special night in and of itself. you've got to read about Lily Yeh...i promise you, you will be inspired beyond words. click the little link that takes you to her presentation, too. even if her project doesn't give you goosebumps (and check your pulse if it doesn't) listen to her speech as she talks about how her calling found her and spoke to her and urged her to do this...the passion cannot help but excite. **** thank you all for your concerns and emails regarding diva dog...she is a few days into her prednisone, and we are hopeful for something besides the every-two-hour-potty schedule. she is at camp grandma's for the night so i could get some sleep. she is very tired of being poked and prodded, and i am feeling guilty and bad for having the dental procedure done in the first place, since it seems like that's what triggered all this. this is why i don't have kids - i would never take them for their vaccinations because they hurt, and never make them go to school if they had the slightest good reason not to. i'd end up the subject of an In-Depth Investigation on some seedy TV show about bad mothers. or else i'd drop them off at grandma's and high-tail it to Mexico. or at least New Mexico. today we have brunch day with Perfect Stepdaughter so i have to hit the shower. have a great day, and get your Bundles started!
at 7:52 AM
Saturday, October 23, 2010
an exciting day is in store...i can tell! productive and exciting already...i'll work backwards...just got a call from a gallery that one of my necklaces sold and they want a bunch more...finished another collage...the gallery wants them...it's a beautiful crisp fall day - a bit drippy out, but glorious in color...and - here's where you can play: i sent out invites to a deconstruction project a la Seth Apter. want to play along? come on! what a blast! feel free to post pictures on your blog and let me know - i'll link ya. go here to see the original project, and get busy!
at 10:25 AM
a quick hello and a request...artist Bernie Berlin is amazing - she runs a no-kill shelter/adoption for dogs & some cats called A Place To Bark. to say she is tireless is an absolute understatement. she drives her own vehicle far & wide to so-called shelters that have a short shelf-life for animals there. she brings them to her shelter, fixes them up and finds them forever homes. if you could go to this link and rate her video 5 stars, she could win a grand prize of much needed funds. there is nothing to register, no sign-in etc. thank you.
at 8:33 AM
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
diva's condition continues to get worse...the shot of antibiotic has done nothing...the scabbing lesions around her eyes, nose, mouth and in her ear remain...the ear is getting worse, and now the other ear is affected also...the area where her stitches were was all healed up and smooth, but now has a crumbly yellowish green scabbing on it. and no diagnosis. a possibility of lupus. (i gasp). the vet wants to put her on prednisone to see what happens. i want quicker answers. i am calling the clinic at Cornell Vet college tomorrow. it may take a 2nd mortgage to be seen there, but she is my Love. send love to her...she's been so good, but is clearly not feeling well. that's all i have for today.
at 7:23 PM
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Help Wanted...Sugar Daddy. Position to begin immediately. Person with huge wads of disposable cash, or strong connections in the art industry to provide gessobord, Golden Gel Medium, endless magazines, vintage papers and photos and maps in exchange for my genuine thanks. will also consider just the disposable cash. no experience necessary - new money or old. some provisions for travel must be included. please apply immediately.
at 10:16 AM
Friday, October 15, 2010
it is absolutely gulley-washer pouring out. i love it...the sound of the rain on the roof....delicious! perfect for watching out the windows across from my studio table. i'll describe the room, since my camera has given me no end of anxiety lately. the room is approximately 22x22. walk in, and straight ahead is a wall of windows. i should mention the studio is on the 2nd floor, so i see leaves of every color from the treetops, and crows and blue jays and cardinals and squirrels perching on branches looking in at me. mid-way into the room is a huge worktable myhusband built for me. it was built inside the room, as there would've been no way to get it in the room after it was done. it's about 10'x6' give or take. along the left wall is floor-to-ceiling stainless shelving on wheels - the kind of industrial shelving found in restaurant kitchens, and labs. (it pays to have a connection in the lab supply industry!) the wall angles a bit, and in a small nook before you get to the worktable, is where i do my jewelry work, soldering, and resin work. i have a 6' table with a large pull-down light over it. to the right is my desk, usually littered with books and articles ripped from magazines, etc. on that wall i have all the beautiful art i've collected from friends, and have been gifted. it's my wall of smiles, because i smile everytime i look at it. every time. but the point here is that when i walk into my studio, i can't help but see all the beauty outside...and even the snow looks pretty from up here. tonight, the wind blew leaves past the windows, and rain pelted the glass...music to create by. i've taken a few minutes to stretch, and my two fur-kids are curled up next to me on the couch - 1 on each side. this...this is heaven. *************************************************************************
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
it is becoming more and more apparent to me that i am not cut out for a 9-5 (or 8-5 in this case) job that requires me to get up at 5am and not return home - exhausted - until 6pm. i'm past the whole "full time artist" thing, which would take buckets more energy than i have at this point in my FMCFS life. it is the every-day-is-the-same, churning out paper, no mind-challenge, working to profit someone else-ness of it all. i am tired. my body hurts in ways i never thought possible. i have hours throughout the day where i have great spurts of energy and hope and grace and All Good Things. and in those moments, it makes me sad to think that i am spending that sparkle to advance someone else's dream / goal / profit. i need art, not just to use an an excuse to stay home...but as a meditative, body-calming, mind renewing fountain. i made a proposal to my boss about a work-from-home position, but since it has Never Been Done, and there are a thousand people standing in line, willing to work traditionally, it wasn't an option. yes, they value me. my experience with the company have great value to them. i am known all the way up the food chain to the CEO. however. i was put with my team to be a motivator, and i'm afraid that my dark moments have motivated them in that direction from time to time. there are daily, monthly, even hourly goals and deadlines to achieve, which normally gets me excited. but there is no mental challenge. and the payoff isn't worth the time invested from my body and my soul, to get all dramatic. when i'm at work, i long to be at my studio table. if i take a mental health day, i worry that i'll get fired. and money equals choice, or at least the ability to make choices. or at least a certain number of choices. and around the hamster wheel we go. today, i am not able to face the desk. having been so exhausted the past few days that i have fallen asleep in my chair throughout the day, today will be a day to catch up. and unless they install a seatbelt on my desk chair, i foresee an injury from falling! that's how asleep i'm talking about. a part of me is hurt that i haven't heard the words "i hate that you are suffering...stay home and take care of yourself...we'll manage." am i being unreasonable? i have nothing to compare it with. we are each disappointed in the other, so i guess as i have withdrawn, so has he. it is just the sameness of every day. the exact sameness. like the Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day. and i feel there is so much within me that needs to find life on a canvas, or through rusty bits and parts...and pushing paper from one side of my desk to the other grinds on me...but no pearl has become evident. there's no answer this morning, and there are a zillion other things to work themselves out...all connected, all layered together. today, i rest.
at 6:13 AM
Saturday, October 09, 2010
yes it was a dream day...up at 3:30am...finished a painting...BeautifulSmartStepdaughter and I met up with LisaLisa and headed to see my art show on my Lake...lunch...incredible food...incredible conversation...a wonderful day...can i do it again tomorrow?? i needed a day like this after the veterinary chaos and concern of the week. diva is okay, but there were some very scary days. she has had these weird growths around her nose and mouth. i thought it may have been from the anesthesia given during her surgery mid-september. then THEN thursday night i found a huge & disgusting lump in her ear...all nasty and, well, huge. a frantic call to the ER vet assured me she would live the night. but i felt so bad for her, and i felt like a Very Bad Mom. i love and trust the ER vet more than any other human on earth. well, i love other people maybe more, but as far as diva is concerned...Dr. Holly is the One. and Diva loves her, as much as she can love a person who will, once again, poke and prod her beyond the limits of her patience. i hit the internet early friday morning, and was convinced CONVINCED it was *gasp* *small choking cry* mange. yes. my diva with a disease of homeless, wandering, feral dogs...my diva, the most spoiled 4-legged princess...with - i can't repeat the word. now, the very second i got home, i shucked off my Big Girl clothes and threw on dog-proof wear, threw diva into the car, and headed off to the doggie ER. now, you should know that the day after i got home from Squam, diva had surgery...dental and a fatty tumor removal. she has 2 huge and 1 small. they removed the small one (the size of a penny) but shaved, cut and stitched an area about 5 inches in diameter. frankendog. so knowing that, you could definitely understand when Dr. Holly walked in the exam room thinking she was possibly going to treat mange, and sees my diva (who she knows well) with a huge bald patch. HUGE. "Jesus!" she yells, and i look behind me thinking she's taken on a new partner, and i'm Very Lucky tonight. then i realize she saw the Big bald Patch and thought "this dumb bunny never noticed a problem till it got THIS far??" the long version, i know. it turns out that it is most likely an allergic reaction to the antibiotic given pre-and post-surgery. so the cure is, yes, another antibiotic. that was my 2nd choice of diagnosis. diva's been licking her widgey to beat the band, and dogs can get yeast infections too. i'll leave the story about the cat getting high on a discovered tub of catnip, and hiding under the afghan on the couch where i always sit. that is for another day. so the short version of my week: my job is stealing my soul, painting refills it, the dog is fine, my stepdaughter is perfect, lisa will likely rule the universe soon, i am tired. my feet are up, i am relaxing, and thinking about finishing at least one of my knitting projects. well, not actually finishing, but working on it.
at 8:47 PM
Thursday, October 07, 2010
yes yes - i will be going into work today. despite. that was my word for the year, i remember - "despite." this year i may choose "notgonnadoit," or "can'tmakeme." among a thousand reasons, valid and selfish, and just plain reasonable and understandable, i decide to choose the reason why i should. because my team needs me and they have been overwhelmingly supportive and helpful to me. now, here are a list of reasons why i should stay home: because i have a huge i mean H-U-G-E load of incredible papers i got yesterday for free. yes free. thanks to my angelfriend Georgia. she hooked me up with an annual giveaway that's done at a local letterpress company. they just Give Away their odd bits and pieces and stacks STACKS of onion skin (unopened reams!) and heavy, textured stock, and all manner of goodies, both plain vanilla, manilla, and patterned. they are beyond lovely. and i came home and started working with them and am in heaven. i have a painting/collage that's coming about much more slowly...it's on a 12x12 canvas, and the size is daunting. and it reacts way different than the gessobord. and for once, i am working through the perfectioist and actually putting down some color and glue and stuff. yes - i admit i had to have an entire conversation with myself about it...and kept the riff going till the hand grabbed the chalk and made some marks. and Totally Screwed It Up. my convo went like a continuous loop: "yeah, Linda, don't do anything yet, because you know if you screw this up, they aren't making any canvas anymore. no more. this is the last chance evah that you will ever have to use canvas, so be careful you dork." and i realized that it would not be the end of the world if i hated what i put down. a little bit of gesso or tissue paper would cover any hating. and in the extreme case of hatred, i could *gasp* just chuck it and actually buy a new one. yes! and what makes this whole scene even crazier is that the very canvas i'm using was a gift - free - from Susan of Port O Pines fame. so now excuses. so the chalk did not work. BUT those watercolor crayons i had to buy 2 years ago for an ill-fitting workshop? they work dandy! i want this piece to have something to say, as opposed to the fun ones i've been doing. my challenge is to not get lost in the details and drama of it all. i realized a few years ago that i was asking quite a lot from my chosen materials - to speak for me. and i eventually backed down a bit and just picked a few key points from the monologue. i've been happier with my work since then. and have actually been able to finish some pieces! this past month i've felt a shifting and changing within. more bona fide, if that makes sense. maybe it's because i'm making art again, after a few months dry spell. not sure, but i feel the wolf within, and have claimed her calm assertiveness. today is the anniversary of my dad's death. that was reason #1 for wanting to take the day off. to mark it in a thoughtful and meaningful way. my dad was a workaholic, so i suppose i will be marking the day much the same as he marked most occasions...by working. whether it was fear of failure or pride and wonder at what he accomplished - something drove him hard. i have that in me, and it's more of a curse than a blessing as i hit the 3rd half of my life. yes - i am older than he ever lived to be. a conversation i had recently with my brother. this year, my brother becomes older than my father ever lived to be. i think of how young i feel, and how unready i am for the aches and limitations my body hands out. i wonder most of all if my dad felt cheated.
at 5:26 AM
Saturday, October 02, 2010
recently i made soup. it was to be a glorious, wonderful thick substantial soup. and i was going to bring it to a friend's house for her to have on hand when her creative process got on a roll and a few plinks of the microwave would create instant dinner. and there would be no need to stop the mind-train. and the village went wild with dancing. except, the soup was terrible. Terr-ah-bull. yuk. patooey. i thought of that soup this morning, and it led me down a path of thinking about how 1 ingredient can make or break a soup, and how 1 person, just one, can make a difference (good or bad) in a group...how one person can galvanize and draw to them, or disperse and fragment a group. and once the galvanization and clumping begins, it spreads. and this can be very very good. or not. depending on the one person. and depending on the strength of the group. but either way, a little too much salt still affects the soup. even just a little. and not enough, well, it needs something more. there is a just right amount. and that's all i have to say on that topic, except to note that i have been blessed with some damn good soup in my lifetime. new topic: my for-real fortune in a fortune cookie today: There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only an infinite passion of life. fall is here. the leaves are coming down even before they change to Full Volume Glorious. the bumble bees under my deck have become frantic, and where the mosquitos took over in the summer, my docile bumbles have now become too erratic to trust. and they are huge...well over an inch long, with fat butts and bellies. i watch from inside the screen, and toss an apple out for them. i suspect husband will soon get rid of them, as they were less friendly to him than to me...rushing toward him and veering off at the last possible second, then dancing en garde, back and forth, protecting their home. i know how destructive they can be...2 years ago, we had to remove the back of our house to get at whatever was in there. the main support beam holding up the 2nd floor of the house was nearly gone - chewed through by carpenter ants and bees. so his lack of patience with the bees is understandable, seeing as they tried to eat our house, but i just hate to see anything in nature destroyed while it's in it's own natural habitat. i have been painting (still). and it's odd - i can't find the connector cord to hook up my ipod to the speakers, so while i'm using quotes from Rumi as creative prompts, i have the only CD i can find playing: Regina Spektor. which is normally okay, as i like her music, but the combination of great philosophy and "a little bag of cocaine" playing in my ear is just a dichotomy that's a little weird. after a few cups of coffee, and some great stuff on gessobord, some creative endorphin-rushed brain cells get going. they make up new words such as "a little bag of propane, a little bag of propane," then laugh themselves silly. it's all quite distracting. Diva is healing nicely, and since she can't see her post-stitched area, she isn't embarrassed at all. kitten has begun to collage, which fills me with pride and worry. i'm not sure yet what she "distressed" in the middle of the livingroom, but i'm sure it was important. like a note from the IRS. we may never know, because, pleased with herself, she ate the dog's food, then barfed on top of her work. this cat's propensity for vomiting is downright...intentional. i believe that with all my heart. some excitement is afoot, and i hope to share some good news very soon. cross your fingers for me and ask for pure, clear guidance, if you don't mind. i am enjoying the quiet of being the only 2-legged in the house today. up at 4am and belly to the worktable. i will share some pictures later today. but now - nap time, then more paint. be well, and be Just Right.
at 12:32 PM
Thursday, September 30, 2010
i'm so sorry ... i've been remiss in posting...but i've been in a frenzy of painting and getting diva all healthy and painting. kitten's been helping - she seems to have developed a passion for red paint. yes, my friends, she has "painted" little tail swishes of red everywhere. and you know that she knows EXACTLY what she's doing. it's raining big hard here...the creek through my woods has flooded, and a 30 minute walk with diva left me soaked from the knees down...my Gortons of Glouster fisherman-style rain slicker kept the rest warm & dry. diva - not so dry. but her stitches came out monday, so we're all legal. i am completely exhausted - had to take a nap at lunch - my reward for not going home & back to bed at 9am like i wanted. tonight...bed by 8:30. ah the tantalizing life of a woman who does it all. hmmmm. yeah right. sleep well yourself....some good stuff coming!
at 7:53 PM
Saturday, September 25, 2010
my diva dog is home! when i walked in the door at Camp Grandma's Luxury Resort and Spoiling House for dogs, diva went right out of her natural puppy mind. she has a big, fierce shaved and stitched spot near her hip where the vet removed a lump. not to worry - no pics...too gross. she has sparkly teeth now, as well. and it is my job to watch her for the next 2 days and 2 nights to be sure she doesn't lick or bite her stitches. it was a long night. and an early morning. and i do it all with gladness that she is fine and there isn't cancer.i was up (for the final time) at 4am and it's nice to have the world to myself. diva is snoring in her "nest" behind the chair, and the cool morning air is drifting in the window...most welcome after yesterday's 91-degree heat wave out of nowhere. the air conditioning had already been put to bed for the season, so it was a restless night with cranky fans and too many blankets being kicked off and panting puppy trying to snuggle closer for the comfort of a missed mom. i've been reflecting on Squam, and my return. remembering that first year, where a week off from work after my return was essential, and not nearly enough...where the slightest whiff of woodsmoke or the hint of a special song could send tears streaming down my face and a gnawing homesickness prevailed for weeks, months, forever...even though i was in my own house. it was an awakening to how dead i had become to my own Self. this year was more graceful...still wishing to be back among kindred spirits and new & old friends, but less of a jarring Here vs. There feeling. and i realized that the spirit of There had stayed within me these past 3 years, and taken root as a tiny seed, which has grown into a tender vine within me...creeping throughout my spirit, my being, my Self...so the line was more smudged, and more of a recognition of sameness, rather than a plowing of new soil...it was the nurturing of something already growing, rather than the birthing of fallow ground into fullness. and that is welcome, and that is a smile and a nod. and in that state, i was finally able to reach more outward, and step outside my comfort zone more, artistically. i learned to paint. and despite sarah's contention that i always could, i say respectfully: uhnn uhnnnn. i owned all the tubes and pots of color, and sticks of this and drips of that, but to pick up a brush and PAINT? surely you're mad. i'd rather eat broccoli. but the ideas flow through me now and are realized on paper, canvas, gesso board. a most welcome oasis of expression after all these dry months spent avoiding my studio at all costs. and i do believe i'm going to head that way now, with the cool morning air drifting in my window, and the world to myself. thank you Elizabeth, once again.
at 5:10 AM
Thursday, September 23, 2010
i CANNOT stop painting! well, i say "painting," but i'm really diggin' the chalk pastel-under-matte medium look Big Time. i'm up to 6 now, and i feel like a crack monkey in a lab...i only have 1 gesso board left, and a 12x12 canvas gifted me by Sue (who i'd link to, but she seems to have taken great joy in posting a picture of me from our cabin that's, well, well it was before the fire event). anyway, i'm up at 4:30 making packing tape transfers and mainlining alcohol inks and chalk and matte medium and all manner of art stuff. then down to the wire - hit the shower, throw on whatever falls off a hanger and off to work. which puts me in a sulky mood at best. my cube neighbor peeked around the divider today after listening to me try to shake some change out of an insurance company's pockets ("what do you MEAN she had full dentures last year?? okay - remember the EXTRACTIONS on the SAME CLAIM you paid for???) and she peeked timidly around the corner, and said "duuuude." and i realized i needed some balsam fir sachet or extra easy listening music or maybe a cabin boy/man to help with ....whatever. so i took a breath and took a lap around the cube farm and made a plan to win the lottery this friday. so everyone send good energy and i'll buy a mid-squam reunion for anyone/everyone who needs a mid-squam shot. i'll try to post more pictures but honestly, my camera is not made for this kind of detail. trees - yes. volcanos -check. close up art - not so much. i get my little stitched up diva dog back tomorrow. it's been 2 weeks - the longest we've ever ever been apart. and i miss her most of all. kitten misses her too. except at night when dogs rule the bed. kitten has gotten used to snuggling in all the puppy places. so here's the beginning of a list of things i don't want to forget about squam: Oh My God! The baby's missing! ... reading the fire safety instructions a few minutes too late (no worries Elizabeth - there was no fire. pinky swear) ...Cal - you're The One ... #2 wasn't trying very hard ... recycled clothes from bottlecaps - who knew? ... my favorite tree ...valet parking ... WT took my mortgage money but THOSE BOOTS! ...midnight skinny dippers...the wild things in the woods pre-squam...the wild things in the woods during squam...the stinky cats in the woods during squam...and by the way, the woods are much much darker when there's only 2 people in them...the sound of the rain on the cabin roof... and so much more. but that's it for now.
at 6:34 PM