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.


Monday, May 30, 2011

before anything, i would like to thank Lisa for her service to our country. I extend that gratitude to all the servicemen & servicewomen who have spent their years, during peacetime & in conflict, in service to our country. **************** the thunder and the rain have not stopped in days. DAYS, i tell you. normally that wouldn't bother me too much...i love the sound of rain on the roof when i'm working. however, there's a certain fierce & ferocious little diva that turns into a liquified lamaze coach when she hears thunder - all panting and pacing and wide-eyed. and it melts my heart to see her so terrified. and these violent storms usually hit right about the moment i'm laying my tired little keppie down for slumber. last night i finally hit the pillow at 2am, after talking her out from under the bed and holding her for hours. i think today we'll call the vet for some puppy prozac. it's gotten my days and nights mixed up, with long afternoon naps supplementing my meager nighttime attempts at sleep, and a general feeling of fogginess all around. In case you wondered, i'm almost ready for the summer festival season. almost. here are some places you can find me, along with the incredibly talented Elizabeth: June 4 & 5 ...Westcott Art Trail July 29-31 ...the Downtown Arts & Crafts festival August - TBD September ... Squam Art Fair October 8& 9 ... Lafayette Apple Festival (awaiting jury results) November TBD December ... Plowshares (awaiting jury results) I'll have Intuitive necklaces and collages (or combination thereof)for offering. Stop by and say hello, and please ask Elizabeth about the miraculous work she is doing with autistic children & felting. blows my mind. I am profoundly humbled at the opportunities gifted me. I am so grateful for the life i have been given, and the life that is being created around me. Last night, while I was calming Diva, i had the tv on for noise to drown out the storm (good luck). there was a show on about people who died during surgery or otherwise, and they all mentioned some form of a Life Review that they experienced - after dying, they stood before a Presence, who asked them "what have you done in your life to benefit your fellow man?" and then they went year by year. It is my hope, that this opportunity to be among so many people at these festivals will help me touch at least one life with the goodness i've experienced. and that touch can be a smile at the right time, or a small act of kindness. you just never know how far down a person is, and the smallest thread of a gesture will give them the lifeline they need. having worked in customer service type jobs a lot of my life, i understand that the nastiest people are often those who are hurting the most. sometimes, they're just born "breech sideways & nasty," as my neighbor says. but often, whatever situation prompted them to call, was just the final straw. so, it is my intention to keep my heart & intuition open to someone in need of an extra boost, and am grateful for the opportunity to be of service in this way. this, i have learned, is my work. i didn't intend to get all philosophical this early, and desperately need coffee, so i wish you a good day, with no thunder.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

things i wished i said

my father died on October 7, 1977 at 7am. It was the day before I was to be married. a marriage that, subsequently, never took place. I am 7 years older than he lived to be. I was a different person...transitioning from willful teen to adult, in a home where no instructions for living were given...where my father's pride at being an excellent provider did not allow for my mother to work, nor for either of his children to learn the value of a dollar. we did as we pleased, spent what we wanted, and lived pretty much with an attitude of entitlement. in his job, he traveled and was away from the home 4 days out of the week, returning on friday to handwrite orders and call accounts to set up appointmments. there was no internet or email or voice mail. there was barely a touch-tone phone in most homes. the I90 was just being built. he drove back roads and county routes and Main Street USA's. he was diagnosed with cancer. and still he traveled. it was never discussed. we never knew what it was all about, or what he felt, or how the chemo was dragging him down or making him sick in hotel rooms far from home. he would go for chemo, then get on the road. always another account to visit. he was well respected in his field, even by his competition. when he was out for the final time, other sales reps covered his territory as well as their own, and his company kept the commission checks coming to us. his competition avoided most of the territory, in respect for what they were doing. these were the old days, when things like that happened. when he died, his sister arranged to have him brought to rochester, where she lived, to be assured of a proper jewish burial. i never thought to thank her for the incredible amount of arranging that must have entailed, as she grieved her younger brother. they had a very special bond that surpasses what any 2 children should have to experience together. my mother, brother & i were numb. surprised. he hadn't allowed for a conversation about his health, or for tying up loose ends, so we were taken completely by surprise when his trip to the ER for a backache ended 2 months later at his funeral. we rode in a limousine to an unfamiliar cemetery in an unfamiliar part of a town we didn't live in. it was many years before the ensuing chaos of our lives would settle enough to allow me to grieve. and by then, i had no idea where to find his grave. emails to cousins asking were replied to with news of family, but not the requested information. an intensive search on the internet and lengthy phone sessions led in circles - all of the jewish cemeteries had been consolidated at some point, and the only listing for a man with my father's last name proved to be a civil war veteran. today, as I began organizing my studio to collage, a picture of my dad fell onto the floor, and today, i again wished i could find where he was buried. just to stand there in front of something tangible and say what i need to say. i feel his presence in my life constantly, but i needed to have that granite in front of me, to mark the moment. today, my brother called from my father's gravesite. he found it. and miraculously. the former caretaker of the cemetery had been fired and left with all the records prior to 1989. by "chance," today Today This Day, the new caretaker was just about to start working on the site right next to my father's just as my brother pulled into the cemetery. so the caretaker knew exactly where to point him. my brother said he had been in this very same cemetery before, with no luck. my brother hung up when the caretaker came over to lead him, and i began to sob. there was so very much left to say when my dad died...so much left to hash through, grow through, make amends for, to move on after and become friends. i have tried to live every day to make him proud. but it isn't the same as standing in front of him and saying these things: I am sorry. I understand you now. I am sorry for the life you had growing up. I am sorry that I never thought to reach out to you. I am sorry for taking everything you provided for granted. I am sorry you worked so hard and enjoyed so little. I am sorry. and i thank you that you taught me so much with your example. and that you left a legacy worthy of a great man, worthy of the respect & remembrance that continues. There is so so much more, but it can only be spoken by the heart. the words have not been created to express the thoughts & feelings. so i will sit quietly and let my heart drain of the things that need to be given space & consideration. and soon, i hope to stand in front of the stone that marks where your body lay and know that your spirit and guidance and love have left that spot and have found a home in my heart. i feel the love you were never taught how to express. we both did our best for the time. i forgive us both for the relationship we were unable to have. and i love you, daddy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

addiction #237

i've developed an addiction to netflix art documentaries. there i said it. sunday i watched 3 Art City documentaries in a row (2 were good, 1 i fell asleep in the middle of), plus Herb & Dorothy(loved), The Cats of Mirikitani (very very good), Marwencol (disturbing but interesting), Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (good), Exit Through the Gift Shop (ok), Art & Copy (loved), The Cool School (loved), and finally, Beautiful Losers (liked). plus i re-watched Departures, one of my all-time favorite movies (Japanese with subtitles). told ya. oh - plus a podcast interview of Elizabeth Maccrellish which was wonderful wonderful, and made me homesick for her. for the record, i worked from 5am-1pm then watched movies. and made homemade chicken soup for sick husband. time is ticking for the festivals to start, and i feel like i haven't made nearly enough to sell. Strepson was in this weekend (yes - he has strep), though i barely saw him. Husband is sick today, and diva's tummy is chiming in just to be part of the crowd. i want to live in a hotel till everyone is better. of course, i may have started this immune attack, but that doesn't count. when i first left my job, i felt like i was under a cloud of grace, where anything i put my hand to would be perfect and everything i wanted would appear. i felt like nothing could possibly fail. so i began sending entries for jurying to art shows, and just had a knowing in my heart that of course i would get in to each and every one, and soon i would be sipping cocktails with the hoidy toidy art set and fahbulously wealthy. luckily i don't sip cocktails, and wealth is not my goal. and as for hoidy toidy - seriously? do i have to rant about that? no. today i got a thanks-but letter from a show i really had wanted to be in. and funny thing, i didn't do a death spiral to a dark place, nor did i start throwing art supplies at walls yelling You Suck. (for the record, i have never thrown art supplies). i didn't feel like it took anything away from me. hunh. i was genuinely disappointed, but in an even-keel sort of way. clearly, with 1000 entries, A LOT of people got the same letter I did today. and i had to smile, because they sent along the 2 free passes to the show. i took that as a nice gesture, anyway. but i have to think there will be others who received them and are thinking "What's this supposed to mean?? So I can come see what REAL art looks like??" i intend to go and enjoy the show, and see what's being done out in the world away from my studio. each jury is different and each has their slant, no matter how they try to stay neutral. and honestly, some do not try to stay neutral. there is an annual show locally that's a pretty big deal, with entries from all over the U.S., and the jurors are anonymous. but not so much. because each year they jury themselves into the show. imagine. so that's why i don't get my leggings in a bundle. there's always something. it may be they are looking for a different style or whatever. so i guess my lesson can be yours too - don't give up and don't ever take it to heart. the jury process is based on opinion, for the most part. art is not a math equation that's either right or wrong. it's subjective. even when we look at our own art - something i did yesterday and thought i should alert the media about, may look like dung to me today. so there you have it. so even though you didn't ask, there's the long answer. as usual.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

well well well

we knew these days were coming...the mid-term exams, so to speak...the days when every second wasn't sprinkled liberally with twinkledust and no harps & violins greeted the day and Cinderella-like moments with birds and seamstress mice consorting and frolicking about and tiaras and just plain other-worldliness surrounded every fiber of every cell of every part of my being. (do cells have fibers?) (oh - i do still have the tiara). this has been a week of *New!* *improved!* web browsers that are so stinking bad, i had to figure out By Myself how to purge it from my life, while saving my settings & bookmarks, and return to the older, unimproved and waaaay better one. and i did. this was a week where my body said "whoa doggy!" in a way that meant business. and i listened to it. and rested. and returned to center. this was a week of old issues raising their ugly, nasty heads and coming to life once again. and the choice was mine on how to react. and i'm proud to say, i took the path less traveled by my usual shock-and-awe, knee-jerk reactive self. and i slept peacefully. this week, with all it's testing, did not break me. in fact, i'm pleased to say that the time of grace that swirled around me must have found a crevice and has lodged within my heart. for the most part. there is a Very Testing day ahead, but i think i can handle it with little damage. i think. i will try anyway. and i learned that feeling centered and balanced and all manner of glitterfied is not necessarily about eating vegetarian and wearing birkenstocks with black socks and not shaving my armpits. (although...) It's more about choices. choices that i make about how I will react to any given situation. and more than react, it's about how i will allow my heart & mind & body to perceive the situation and deal with it in that manner. it's about gaining control of my own perceptions. and i wish there was a Cesar Milan Perception Whisperer. and i think perception, in part, is based upon the end result...history upon history of result. since i always feel - felt - that it was up to me to make things right, to take command of a disaster and make it all sparkly again, then my reactions to a situation became based on the fact that i would be the one with the broom at the end of the parade. and since i had claimed that role for myself (whether by choice, or by habit), those around me let me live it. i have a lot of experience is disaster cleanup. and that speaks to my bad choices in those i allowed closest to me. i'm pleased to say that i've put down the broom. i will help clean up, but only to the boundary that feels right. and i have realized just how much i've taken on to corral into a circle called "mine." if you're the one holding the remote control, you have the ultimate responsibility on what show gets played. oh - did i say the word control? yeah, well. it's like this: Consider the sparrow. speaking of animals, (and 2 snoring furbabies at my feet reminded me), the 4 baby bear cubs are now joined by a bobcat with a not-so-appreciative streak, and 34 more assorted creatures in various & sundry states of distress. they appear in clumps, sometimes 25 at a time. with just Jean & Len to work their magic. it really is just the 2 of them, with an occasional volunteer. but mostly just them, trying to figure out how to set a broken wing hummingbird-style, or help a hawk with traumatic head injuries that is now physically healthy, but his internal gyroscope is whacked. and they do it. i'll just note here again quickly that their incredible work survives only only on donations. most grant resources have dried up or closed shop due to economic factors. so, if you've ever wanted to adopt a bear cub or bobcat, virtually speaking, go here and do just that. "as you've done to the least of them, so it will be unto you." well, the baby crows outside my window are reminding me to get a move on, and a pileated woodpecker is cackling away in the next tree, laughing at some inside joke. i defy you not to smile when you hear their call.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

i will not be available the rest of the day - possible attack of the undercooked shrimp. if anyone knows a remedy, please post it!

wherein technology leaps often stumble

in the race for newer, better, faster, my Firefox has decided it is time for an upgrade. shame on me for not discerning the difference between "upgrade" and "update," but i've been a little busy here. i. do. not. like. the. new. one. My functionality has been dissed...my auto-password-loader-thing won't work with it, rendering me into a blubbering jello brain trying to scramble and remember passwords and logins. back in the early days, we were all advised to have completely different ones for each site. that way, if the bad guys got 1, they didn't get them all. but...that advice given to a peri/current/post-menopausal woman with way too much on her plate already is a recipe for frustration & disaster. plus, i come from a time when customer service meant you called someone and they politely & fully dealt with your issue. not click here or there, only to get an error message time and time again. posting to a forum? HA! there are unresolved and ignored pleas for help on there from last year. i just want to reload the old version. that's it. nothing more. i liked how it looked and worked. i don't need bigger, better, faster. and it isn't bigger or better or faster. so i've lost an hour of work trying to find Something Somewhere with instructions or a phone number. and i guess it's not entirely about this server thing. so much head & heart stuff has been scraped up recently. and i have to say that i actually welcome it. not only the purging and setting aside, but it's been interesting to watch myself deal with the issues. no panic, depression, etc...just gentleness with myself, and listening when my heart says to get out of my head and blast some Prince. or walk the dog. oh hi dog, yes, you do need a walk from time to time, huh? so that's where i'm headed. no pun intended. i have 1 week to make 50 more necklaces. please pass the Mountain Dew & Red Bull. speaking of animals, Kindred Kingdoms is bursting at the seams with some species...please see below. if you can help - you will have many rewards in this life and heaven.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

adopt a bear

(older cub - already released) so what happens to 4 baby bear cubs when their mother is killed and they are left alone to fend for themselves? In this area, they are very very lucky. They go to Kindred Kingdoms, where they are raised until they are able to be released. they do not become pets, or trained for shows...they are handled properly with the intent of release. if they are injured, they receive proper medical care and rehabilitation, as do the swans and raccoons and eagles and falcons and turtles and skunks and over 900 (and counting) other animals so far this year. imagine a Dr. having 900 patients - and none of them spoke English. this incredible work is done by a husband and wife team that I have the great privilege to call friends. they dedicated themselves to this work many long years ago, and, in agreement, built their lives together in service to helping injured and orphaned wildlife...no vacations, dinner and sleep interrupted by feeding schedules and phones ringing with requests for help. i have seen baby hummingbirds with hurt wings, and injured opposum (opposums?) and (unfortunately) a cage full of baby skunks. yes - the baby skunks can raise a stink. i have never heard Jean raise her voice, or seen her have a bad day. she has had baby robins that need feeding every 15 minutes - 24 hours a day. and they do all this work on donations. this is their life's work and calling. it is rare, if ever, that i've used this space to ask for donations to anything, but as corporate and individual giving dries up, i am asking you all to please send something to help them out. i called this post "adopt a bear" because the 4 little cubs she has now still need formula...they are no bigger than diva. 1 bucket of this formula mix costs $90 and they've already slurped through 5. not to sound like Sally Struthers, but please visit their website and help them out if you're able. we're kanoodling a fundraiser to be held in the near future, but you don't want to tell a hungry bear to wait! so i thank you for listening, and i'm thanking you in advance for any help you can offer. just so you know - literally everything you donate goes directly to the medical care and feeding of the animals. every cent. please pass the word around blogland, as well, if you wouldn't mind. i have known this couple for 12 years, and have never met a more selfless couple. thank you!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Elizabeth M. if you're out there...call me! i need measurements to build a display.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


oops - forgot to tell you ...if you live in the Syracuse area...Saturday could be a busy day for you...the annual Radisson garage sale (if you don't live here, this sounds oh so Upstate, but it's 400+ houses all trying to outdo each other with what they consider garage sale material, and some very good buys on very nice stuff will be found) and also - Secret Lentil is selling tons and tons and tons of fabric for $1/yard. yep $1/yard. i peeked at some and wow! they're in the Delavan Center, 2nd floor. now here's an interesting thing to watch.
so no one wants to read through a self-serving rant, right? i offer my apologies for yesterday's post. working alone in a room all day gives the mind time to wander to dusty corners if you let it - and no matter how good your psyche's super-suck vacuum is, there's always that one corner, eh? so it appears some spring cleaning is on tap, despite the 46-degree weather. old stuff getting a good shake out. what i really need is an old-fashioned Amish rug beating, i think. that one last fear to be addressed. not to say i will then be fearless...i've just made a commitment to recognizing and dealing with fear as it appears. except, apparently, this one. i can't name it - abandonment? unloveliness? ach, who cares what it is called. but the shape of it is this: if i don't call, you may not call me. or if i don't fill-in-the-blank then the effort may not be returned. not to say that my emails and calls aren't from a very good and authentic place. no no no. it's just that there are moments when i wonder if i stopped all communication outward, what would come in to me. i could say it comes from my dad being gone 4 days out of the week traveling. i could say it comes from an emotionally needy, yet emotionally absent (to us kids) mother. maybe. maybe not. the fact is that i'm waaay too old to stop in one spot, turn backwards, and start pointing fingers. because the longer you stand in that spot facing backwards, the longer you aren't moving forward. and my life is all about moving forward and drinking in the incredible scenery. so these few days have been about gentle and gracious growth. butterfly wings fluffing up the dust in that corner. and there are 2 specific people in my life (unnamed) who just bring out the lights and sirens when it comes to those issues, and the past 2 weeks i have been bombarded with their names and faces on every turn. and they are in no way connected to one another, or even live in the same state. rather than just chastise myself for thinking bad thoughts about two perfectly fabulous people, i started to dig inside a bit to see why the polar reaction. and i have no answer yet. i don't feel that i have to like everyone, and everyone has to like me. not at all. although i am a pretty cool person. it's just an uncomfortable, visceral reaction to them that gets my attention, and not in a way that makes me proud. so i will use the same quietude that gets the dust riled, to figure this out, heal my own heart from whatever may come up, and move it out of my life. dust bunnies be gone! on a happier note....Oh. My. God. I have fallen in love with Jeremy Randall's pottery. love love love. the pictures are wonderful, but to see it in person....mmmm mmmm mmmm. yes, i had to own a piece. and now i do. and he's making another piece for me. i know, i know blah blah blah no income yet blah blah. but this was the equivalent to groceries for me - a necessity. i would forever regret not being able to see and touch this every day. he has a method of embedding nails and tacks into the clay before it's fired, and the glaze - i've never seen glaze work like this...sort of a pastel powdery finish. the colors are all light and beautiful, but then there's the metal juxtaposing. and the whole thing makes me swoon. such beauty. lord have mercy. it was my plan to finally frame & hang all the incredible artwork i've collected, and been given, now that i have my studio to myself. but i'm seeing that i need a few more walls. i started hanging some of my own work throughout the house. seems strange that i never did before, right? but it was kind of a don't ask-don't tell feel to the whole I'm An Artist thing here. In the past few months, WHAM...a 180. Husband is proud of my work and actually talks about it to other people, and i don't feel like i have to pretend that it's my little hobby. we have finally begun our marriage as a team, as partners. after 10 years. i have given up trying to be a control freak, and he has given up pushing back every little point. and that opened our hearts to one another instantly . we still come from different starting points, but there is a respect for one another that is just so sweet. do i expect rumbles from time to time? i suppose there will be. and there is 1 topic in particular that brings out the stress, but i think we've both learned that we are a team, and i can give some and he can give some, and we'll win this potato sack race called Life. okay - back to pounding teeny tiny bitty eyelets into teeny tiny holes.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

ants in the pants

i can't seem to get down to business today - ants in the pants. i got up at dark o'clock (as usual!) and after spending THREE hours online and looking through catalogs for a specific item i need in order to proceed, i was just tired. a friend, Donna, who owns Fancifuls saved the day, suggesting 2 of her findings for me to try. (Note: she has 50-gazillion charms in her online store, and she can rattle off the item number of each of them. check out the site ...good people, good product, very very good value). (50-gazillion is an estimate, and there may actually be more). By then, I just wasn't in the mood to hammer, patina, or otherwise construct and conjure jewelry. so i think the best course of action will be a shower (i know, right?) and a walk with diva. followed by some window shopping at Barnes and Noble. i bought a quick read "Nanny Diaries" at a used book sale last week, in prep for The Prep. It's pretty funny (the book, definitely not the prep). am trying to stay out of my own head about an issue that's always been a sore spot for me: returning calls/emails. i am a constant communicator. it's a fault. i am aware. however...when a message is left for someone that specifies that some information is needed from them, or that you do need a call back, it is rude to not call or email. it just is. it's hurtful to the person waiting. i will always say "no response needed - just wanted to say hi," or something similar if no response is needed. i am also aware that i may appear to have more time on my hands than someone working in an office. and true, i can pick up the phone whenever i want, but...i am dependent on my own work ethic to get anything done, and am often waiting for your information in order to complete a portion of a project. or finish a plan. and i recognize that many people who don't work in an office are busier than i can imagine ever. and i accept that it may take a few days to return a call. but please jot an email or leave a voice mail to let me know you've even received the message from the phone answerer who may be a child, and/or not so reliable. sorry - i didn't mean to go ranting...it's a peeve of mine that is fighting to find prominence in my thoughts today. which makes a shower and a walk in the woods a perfect choice to chase it away.

Monday, May 02, 2011

a short walk

...all evidence of spring. I will not be available for the next 2 days as i prepare for a minor procedure/test. i am not allowed to eat today, so of course all i look at reminds me of food...mmmmyummy garlic or cat chow or bird seed or almost anything could be food related. Jello is not a food, and chicken bullion does not a breakfast make. i am dreaming of a meal for tomorrow afternoon....meatloaf....Shepard's pie....maple donuts with chocolate oozing off the top and pizza and....okay no more. the computer is starting to look edible, and i'm killing myself here. wish me luck