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.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

out of the closet

yep.  i'm outting myself.  as a chubby girl.  i was talking to a friend the other night, and she said it just felt so delicious once she realized she would never be thin again - not the kind of thin that shows up in magazines.  not the kind of thin that she and I once were, that's nearly impossible to maintain with the help of major blocks of workout time, minor portions of food, and prescription help.  yes.  we wore size zero.  nothing.  zero.  is that even a size? but as life and age and circumstance and quitting bad habits and forming other good habits and so many twists and turns came and went - we became chubby girls.  and we both realized at the same time that it was pointless to pretend otherwise...pointless to try to be size 2-wearing 20 year olds.  we simply aren't, and that thought is so ridiculous that i'm laughing out loud right now.  here, wait.  ok, better.  there has been so so much in-between that there is no holding on to that 20-year old ideal.  even 20-year olds don't hold it.  and there really is so much more going on.  so anyway, back to the conversation with my friend.  she said she felt giddy and kept calling herself "chubby" when she talked to people.  and she realized that "this must be what a gay person feels when they admit to the world their big secret."  and in both cases, didn't people already guess??  so yes, we outted each other, laughed our asses off, and had a Skinny Cow ice cream.  because I still have 1000 of them in the fridge.  and they are good.  the sad thing is that since i stopped watching what i eat and relaxed on the whole weight issue - my new chubby girl pants don't fit so good now.  they are a bit large.  and i'm worried that i'll start losing weight before i get to wear all my new Lane Bryant stuff.  is it ever just easy??

Friday, September 28, 2012

i know - my posting has been random, rambling and super uninteresting.  it has been a rambling, random and super uninteresting but highly explosive few weeks for me, and i've been trying to limit the casualties - my blog being one of them, but y'all know that i am a creature of habit, and can't help myself.  i just can't.  so life has swung from beautiful and introspective, to some sort of wild carnival ride that no one is tending.  and i know from what i speak, having been stuck on the Scrambler with my cousin barfing all over me and the ride operator (fresh from incarceration, no doubt) chatting up some chickie and not paying attention till the cold slap of something wet-and-not-his finally made target with his arm, side, best shoes, and the general public in line.  But i digress.
my life has been consumed with planning the upcoming fundraiser.  and haunting Lane Bryant.  I leave for a week of art retreating next wednesday, and am like a kid who's been told too early that the family is going to Disney.  i am mostly packed, supply-wise, and have no idea what to bring clothing-wise.  i can't find my fall/winter clothes, and suspect most of them won't fit.  last winter the tags said "8" or "10."  and it's so bizarre working on a fundraiser for an eating disorder resource center because i worry that i have a disorder, rather than a concern (because i may be a nervous freak, but don't think i have an eating disorder, but what do i know?) and worry that any mention of it will set off an alarm somewhere - sort of like having an afternoon hanging out with a priest or a psychic...everytime i talk about my weight or sizes, i think they might throw me into therapy.  much like it feels like the priest or psychic can see your soul, so you have to be careful, which is as hard for me as spending time with little kids - they repeat everything, and by the end of the day, you just want to stand on a chair, and in your loudest outdoor voice scream the "F" word at the top of your lungs just to let off steam.  and i love words.  all words. and their origins and ideas they convey and how inflection and context can make a difference and how a person's background and upbringing can make a difference in how a word is perceived or received. (i've had no upbringing, so have a clean slate).  words are alive and like an art supply to me.  Like George Carlin said, "there are no bad words. Bad People, bad intention.  But words are just words."  and yet i don't want to offend with talk of weight and size and former size, when i'm with people who may be nervous about that line of conversation.  so here, in my own forum, where i write the words and rules, i will tell you this: being fat is disappointing to me, yet I haven't felt this free in years.  ahhh.  there.  i said it.  yes - i look at pictures of myself when i was thinner and wish for it again, but pointing my day around eating the "right" food and working out and counting calories and weighing myself and and and...it was exhausting and nerve-wracking.  and i am not at all fooled by those 100-calorie packs of snacks with big pictures and microscopic cookies the size of a contact lens. and if the science is correct, the stress of it all probably loosened up enough cortisol to increase my waistline by another 4 inches.  i feel happier and sadder.  it is a relief to stop trying to fight menopause and quitting smoking and metabolism and heredity just to fit into last year's (week's??) jeans.  and my fear of not finding stylish clothes for a larger size has been blown away, so now i can relax a bit.  do i plan to eat all the cake in all the northeast?  no.  but i will have a slice when i want it and not think a single thing about it.  other than "Damn! this is good!" and it is true that i really don't enjoy seeing pictures of myself.  it is true that i see the chubby cheeks and the jowls and the jacked-up teeth (thanks to a really bad dentist who finally retired before i could stalk him down) and the tired eyes...i could go on all day.  but the weird thing about all these words is that they are not internalized to the depth you may think.  i am still the same person i was in those "skinny" pictures....i am still the same person i was when my tags had single digits.  but the responses i get from people have changed.  things that i would say when i was thinner / younger / whateverer get a much different response.  it's almost like wearing a costume...you forget that people can't tell who it is behind the eyes.  i am inside looking out - you are outside, seeing my body, my face, etc.  as we talk.  I don't think about the perception people may have of fat people - they should be jolly or mean or grateful that you want to be their friend, pick one.  so if i'm being coy...who do i think i am?? fat people are not sexy.  they are sloppy and over-indulgent and don't care enough about themselves to....lose weight.  just lose weight.  so on behalf of myself - my fat, over-50 self - i would like to say this: I am beautiful because it is my heart and spirit that will transcend...i have fought LifeBattles that bear listening to...i have wisdom you may need...i will accept you - even if you're skinny :)
and that is my post for today.  how we ended up here, i will never begin to figure out.  i was going to write about puppies.  but i know that there is someone that needed a grain of what was in there today...someone who needs to stop looking in the mirror in the bathroom, and turn out the lights, close their eyes and take a deep breath and smile - make yourself smile, and hold that position for a few minutes until it isn't forced...and then just listen to what your heart has to say to you, sweet one, because i promise you - yes, it's you i'm talking to - i promise that it is okay and that you are exactly who you need to be for your Place here, your Direction...there is a reason for the darkness and it will be clear in hindsight...but you do indeed have a purpose, and that purpose needs you to be exactly.who.you.are.today.  warts and all.  yes, you can call. but do the smile thing first.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

some prettttty amazing things have happened since the Magic Dressing Room incident.  a transformation of All Things.  Attitude truly is everything.  And mine is pretty damn sassy.  and things just seem more in alignment...back to center.  When i used to figure skate, there was a spin i did that involved extending one leg behind at a slight angle, bending backwards, and lifting my arms upwards.  i know, right?  plunk.  plunk.  plunk.  and my instructor (a horrible man) would scream "center yourself for godssake! center!" over the loudspeaker from his toasty little room above the ice.  Wha? i'm 10 years old, freezing, it's 6am and i have to go to school in and hour but didn't study for a test that i have and he wants me to CENTER?  what did that mean anyway?  breath taken, tears wiped, ice removed from butt, skate skate skate, build speed, turn into it - shoulder leads the way, breath, think only of the shoulder - it will lead you - clear everything else from thoughts, and begin the grace.  the extended foot was counterbalance.  once you got that part, the rest seemed to make sense.  the girls that tried to get showy with the leg always fell.  horribly.  (toe pick stuck and stopped in ice, body still rotating. it's physics)  not enough counterbalance, and BAM. when you arched the back, there was nothing to keep you upright.  the arms?  upward to stay out of the way.  and for grace.  so without the element of counterbalance, there's no hope of completing the maneuver.  without the arch, there is no maneuver to complete.  and the graceful swan-arms just make it seem so effortless. but in order to get there, you have to dig in dig in build up just the right amount of speed, then be willing to go up on 1 thin edge of a tiny blade, and push your shoulder against where gravity is taking you.  once you make that first effort, your arm will follow your shoulder...your hip will follow your arm and shoulder, and soon you will make the most beautiful expression of movement.  but - you must remain in center in order to hold it.  or plunk.
wishing you strength and stamina to break through where gravity may take you.....


StoryPeople Story of the Day 
In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

new hair?

we'll see on tuesday if Kendalia thinks I can rock the Elfman do.  I am just tired of spending so much time tied to a blow dryer.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

We're already in the new age, she said to me. What does that mean? I said & she laughed. It means you can stop waiting & start living, she said, but after she left I waited a little while more just to be safe

-Brian Andreas, StoryPeople

Friday, September 21, 2012

shame shame shame

shame on me.  here i am working on a fundraiser for an eating disorders resource center, and I am weeping into my pillow at night because of my post-smoking weight gain.  there are some hard, ugly truths to be exposed here, so do not read on if you are looking for a post filled with the good and sparkly parts of me.  i've been in the cellar of my soul the past few weeks, and can tell you there is a lot of mildew.  and this is one of the stinky parts.

I have never not ever looked at someone and noticed anything but their heart - didn't make an impact if they were black, white, heavy, thin, etc... unless there was something completely outstanding about their physical features, I didn't pay much attention - sort of "duly noted" and move on.  except when i looked at myself.  i saw every zit and wrinkle and flaw...every bump of cellulite, every grey hair...every imperfection - real or perceived.  and yet, i never saw those same things in other people, which made it all the more lonely being the imperfect one.  strangely, though, my inner spirit ignored all this stupid chatter, and my HeartWork went on - just not focused toward my own physical being...i could read others and love others and show them how their bodies were absolutely perfect in whatever form they chose, but i struggled to accept my changing figure.  maybe it all came on too sudden?  maybe the timing was strangely in synch with dealing with some Bad Inner Child issues?  who could know?  i do know that right about the time i realized it was time to stop dressing like the progeny of Steven Tyler and Stevie Nicks, my ass and stomach exploded out two sizes in about 10 days.  it was like the Nutty Professor when the potion was wearing off, and Buddy Love was changing back into Professor Clump.   So here it is autumn.  my favorite time of year, and i pull out my sweaters and leggings to get ready for crispy evening weather.  and there is No Way any of my beloved sweaters will fit.  no possible way my corduroys and flannels will fit.  in fact, it looks like these are someone else's clothes.  and i stood naked in the mirror for the first time in a while and just looked.  and shame on me, i wept.  you should know that i was a figure skater til my late teens, and couldn't keep weight on.  i graduated high school at 89 pounds.  i stayed active and my weight stayed at 101 and below for most of my life.  i married my (current) husband when i was size 4.  that was 11 years ago.  that was before Lexapro and cooking for a family and all manner of stress and quitting smoking/gaining weight/starting smoking to lose weight/quitting smoking again and gaining on top of gaining.  so here i stand at size 14.  the person who had an internal motto that size does not matter.  and many of the people i know would laugh, saying they passed size 14 years ago.  and all i wanted was a pair of jeans that fit.  that fit like they should.  that didn't cut off my breath if i bent over.  that didn't pinch my girl parts till they were numb.  that weren't bagging in the butt in order to fit the waist.  and speaking of waist - jeans that were cut for a bigger girl and not just a larger size of skinny girl pants.  i do not need a waistband so low that i have to shave my bikini area in order to wear them.  i did that back in the late 60's, early 70's when the fashion came around the first time, and i could actually SEE my bikini area.  and i had a feeling that if i could find clothes that were cut for my body, and that were stylish (just say NO to stretch pants and poly), then i could get back to the business of not caring, because i would be COMFORTABLE.  so with grim determination, a chip on my shoulder, and 3 credit cards, i went to the Good Mall...Macy's, Saks, JCPenney.  had it all covered.  after 3 exhausting hours getting stuck in jeans and shirts and sweaters and not finding anything but shoes, i wandered up the mall, headed to Michael Kors.  on the way, a funny thing happened.  I walked into Lane Bryant.  the store that has been the epitome of unnaturally fibered stretch pants in lilac or white, with animal print stretchy shirts, banded at the bottom.  that was my vision anyway.  au contraire, mon frere.  it was like a treasure trove of clothes made For Me!  the sales people were My Size...the clothes were up-to-the-minute fashionable (well, a few not so muches, but mostly) and they were cut for big girls.  and they start at size 14 - a size that i realized i was just an hour before.  i had been a 12 a few days ago.  tomorrow, who knows?  but today?  i have jeans.  so they loaded up a dressing room for me, and i took a deep breath and went in.  it had not been the best of shopping days, and i couldn't face another disaster.  i tried on the tone-on-tone subtle denim leopard pants....(picture from Lane Bryant catalog online)...(just look at that Real Girl ASS!) (sorry)

they fit like they were made for me!!! this was remarkable.  yes, a part of me was sad that i was shopping in the heavy girl store, but the parts that weren't being squeezed were very happy.  the clerk asked how i was doing, and as i opened the door to show her, a big tear slid down my cheek. (now look, this has been a Really Bad week for me in other respects, and i am fragile & emotional on top of this shopping deal.  it's not like i think there are no worse things).  i squeaked out "they fit" and the clerk grabbed me and wedged me into the crevice of her bosom.  i was trapped in a strange woman's bosom.  but what the hell, you know?  sometimes it's okay.  better than okay.  it was a sister thing.  so a frenzy of clothing try-ons began.  did you know they even make their own underpants for big girls? and they fit way different.  and everything is much more expensive, but damn it - it FITS.  it FITS.  so today i went to the Lane Bryant website and God help me - they have heavy models.  and. they. are. beautiful.  beautiful.  and in that moment i knew, i just knew, that i will never not ever be a size 2 or 4 or any other single digit again.  and that it so didn't matter. that i could be beautiful and short and have a zit and bad hair and cellulite and all manner of not-so-perfect things AND be a size what-effing-ever.  and none of that would even matter, ever, to me again.  it was put to rest.  i could just let the light out again...air out the cellar and let the fresh air flow through again.  amazing what a good pair of jeans can do for a person.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

just a quick thank you to everyone who has called.

Be peaceful whenever possible.  It is always possible.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

yesterday - spent time in the forest with some deer, and down by a pond - some beaver had built a home.  the sun shone through the trees just enough to warm the air, but there was still a chill of impending autumn to be felt.  not much color change in the leaves, and i wonder how the dry summer will effect that.  some moments...

Friday, September 14, 2012

friday post #2

photo by Thea Coughlin

Five years ago, I took a leap of faith and courage, poured my anxious & sweaty self into my car and drove 7.5 hours to the woods of New Hampshire for an art retreat.  i knew no one.  I was covered in poison ivy.  my husband was uncertain if he would be there when i returned.  but much like the turtle compelled to crack the egg and head for the sea, i was compelled to do this.  no matter how darn difficult.  and there were 1000 reasons to stay home and comfortable, albeit itchy.  but it truly was meant to be.  it was where i met my family.  aren't they beautiful, each and every one?  this is the first year since then that I haven't returned.  so many reasons large & small. but all the same, my spirit is there in the woods, and the absolute compulsion and yearning to be with my family is as strong as the tides.  I wish for you peacefulness, gentleness, wisdom, and laughter that makes you pee your pants.  


you seriously do not need to hit me over the head much more

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

freak me out!

it just seems so cool....go here

In case you missed it, The Ophelia's Place fundraiser / Art show will be November 3 at 407 Tulip Street, Village of Liverpool, NY  from 5-9pm.  There are approximately 100 pieces of artwork for sale, with proceeds to support Ophelia's Place.  Please join us if you are local.  If you aren't able to, please send a word of encouragement to Mary Ellen and Jodie, who have done A Good Thing here.

isn't this place so cool??  (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

today.  may we hold our hearts quietly for a few moments...respectfully...gratefully...and thankful for those who gave it all, and remembering those from whom all was taken, and those who ran the wrong way.  mermaids and otherwise.

some quotes from an early morning

"Anyone can slay a dragon, she told me, but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again.  that's what takes a real hero."  Brian Andreas, StoryPeople

"when you have done all that you can, be let it be enough." Brave Girls

"stop."  Jupiter the cat

"HALT" Jodie the amazing person

"Be inwardly outrageous...discover your own goodnes...describe yourself as marvelous...you are enough, you have enough, you do enough..." SARK

and the word "audacious" and all that it encompasses.  from my mermaid friend Kateriina ~ we are connected and I thank you.

for anyone feeling sad today, i give you this: (minus the Pantene commercial)

the insides might be as black as the night, but at the end of the tunnel there's light...

Monday, September 10, 2012


spent the afternoon lazy....too much to do + no sleep for 3 days =overwhelmed.  So i got a few things to the post office, picked up Diva at Camp Grandma's, and did some easy, gentle cool things that i wanted to do.  tonight, i will definitely be taking a sleeping pill.  Not something i like to do, but it is needed.  i know myself, and will begin to devolve in ugly and irrevocable ways if i don't get some sleep.  and it's past the point of being tired, so time to call in professional strength help.  i spent a few hours this afternoon cozy comfy in my new papasan chair in the official Cozy Corner, with my "homework" for a new vessel assemblage, and the Most Amazing Quilt Evah.  I have a friend, Gail, who is a quilting rock star.  we met at a quilt shop, waaay back when, and i admired her color sense (all colors go with all colors) and her design ability (a-mazing).  But most of all, I admire her ability to finish things.  we signed up for a class that I had no business taking.  it was medium density difficult, but it had so so many things to sew together.  sooo many.  and of course, midway through the day, i just abandoned my project and wandered around, depriving everyone else of their concentration, and generally running errands.  a little bit after the class, i knew i would never finish this quilt, but the fabric was awesome and expensive, so i gave it to Gail.  fast forward to 2008 (i told you it was a while ago!) and it's my birthday.  and Gail hands me this big gi-normous box.  i unwrap a quilt that Gail made me out of the unfinished project (she finished it even better than the original!) which she name "Full Circle."  I was blown away.  blown away.  people never make art for artists, it seems.  but we like art.  and i love this quilt for everything that it is, and all that it represents.  when i look at it, i hear Gail laughing (usually at me!) and think about her incredibly decorated house that just oozes her personality.  so, i think everyone should have a Gail in their life, and you should appreciate them with everything you have in you, because they are thoughtful, clear-hearted, and kind.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Adirondack weekend

With the sun blasting through the clouds like this....

it's a lucky sign that something good is coming...Like free use of a friend's log home in the Adirondacks, next to a waterfall and stream...

the view from the master bedroom....

ummm, no - i'm not roughing it

 These little guys were everywhere...turns out, they are not a good thing to pet....

but these looked pet-able...

now, a few weeks to wait for the leaves to change!

Friday, September 07, 2012

holy jupiter

so perhaps asking a cat for help deciding on life's biggest questions seems a bit, unethical?  no that's not the word.  sketchy?  dodgy? disrespectful to the depth of the question/quandry?  silly?  not too bright?  oy.  anyway.  i spent some idle time noodling around the world wide web (rather than ticking off chores from my list which is being crunched by time) and ended up asking a black cat named jupiter a question that i had previously dared not form in my mind.  and Jupiter replied: Allow The Crumbling.
amazingly right on for a cartoon representation of what i assume is a real cat, even if it's very real owner is a wonderful person.  Allow The Crumbling.  which is the perfect answer, of course.  all along, i've felt the need to force, decide, weigh, prop up, plan, etc.  Instead, Allow The Crumbling is brilliant.  When the crumbling is complete, what will stand will be the strongest part.  the un-crumblable.  sturdy. invincible.  whichever way the cookie crumbles, the strengths will remain, and just the strengths.  (like the raisins or chocolate chips - they don't crumble).  and if the strengths bear no resemblance to what is important to my goal, then there will be my answer - and it will come about naturally, not by my hand.  not with my intervention and perhaps a bit of unintentional influence. so i will wait till it seems like the crumbling of this particular situation has completed, then...decide and weigh.  but not force.   no never.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

every revolution needs a manifesto, right?

yes,  it does.  so here's as good a manifesto as you will ever need.....

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

looking for clothes that actually fit?

a quote from a friend:

She’s a dreamer, a thinker, a fearless freak. She’s passionate in a way that is not contrived. She has traveled through the dark realms but she chooses to neither be ruled by them nor dismiss them, because she knows the world is also full of light and wisdom and breath. And she laughs really loud. A lot.

now go shop here.....oh how I love this woman!

wednesday post #2

add to the list of things accomplished:
birthing 25 baby turtles and getting them to the water before the owls and Cooper came for lunch.
(no pictures - it was a bit frantic)
Turtles signal a time of fertile creativity and sensitivity to the Earth's consciousness.  I accept and am grateful for 25 answers and confirmations.
today, my to-do list was really more of a compilation...a list of lists, sort of.  a long line of things I Should Have Done in the past week, two weeks maybe.  three at the most.  but instead, had opted out.  perhaps a pillow day.  maybe a little unplanned chaos.  whatever it was, brought me to the list of today. which was huge.
and my pillow looked good.  but it was crunch time and deadline time on a few of the items that were of uber importance to me and a host of others that were counting on me.
so, with a very small spoon, i dug in, convinced that i would just sample a few of the tastier items, then nap.
well, one thing led to another.  and here's the part of my list that i got done:
poured resin for 12 necklaces
pulled resin out of my hair (damn it! note to self - RUBBER BANDS)
called Kendalia to beg for hair appointment to fix above mentioned item (neglected to mention       problem)
secured storage space
wrote 4 press releases
wrote 1 magazine article
sent 24 emails (business)
sent 17 emails (non-business)
downloaded Adele 21 to iPod
answered 32 emails (business)
made 14 phone calls (mix biz & personal)
cleaned up cat vomit
ate breakfast (not related to above, but way overdue)
actually showered and washed hair (now have a large tangle where resin was/is) (cried)

not a bad morning.  i now plan to:
walk Diva
write 2 workshop proposals
figure out what to make for dinner
shop for above, since i forgot to defrost anything or just buy ready-made from Paul at Wegmans
finish altered book that must be in the mail tomorrow (what just WHAT was I thinking??)
try to find a corporate sponsor to pay for a cake for a fundraiser i'm doing.

then nap.

i won't let that list pile up again, i can assure you of that!
(yeah right)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

there's an empty quiet to the street...summer is officially over, kids are sleeping in that one last day.

I woke up at 5am, before the light had come around from the other side of the world.  i sat at the dining room table, looking out onto the rhododendron and ligularia...the sweet chocolate smell of the liggies flower wafting in the window with the cool air...wrapping a Very Special hand-knit shawl around my shoulders, smelling a trace of NH woodsmoke in it...planning my day and week...a good start to the day...Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable.....

Monday, September 03, 2012

lots of hanging out this weekend...time by the Lake, riding bikes along the shore... Seigrid &Shasta.....

falcons...diva joins a gang...making salsa...cooking...movies...bonfires...slushy wines...painting...kayaking...more slushy wine...all-in-all a good couple of days.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

lake day

and closer to home...