a Tiny description

a full time artist, stepmother, radio personality, and mom to an energetic Chug dog, tries to get through the days without committing a felonious act. My life is a rickety Zen circus.


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.
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.

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.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

i know what you want

...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?

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.
"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.

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.

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!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

from Brian Andreas

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.