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.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

This is a giant block of whatever is most difficult for you to carry & trust me on this, you'll carry it more times than you can count until you decide that's exactly what you want to do most & then it won't weigh a thing anymore.

- StoryPeople

today went by too fast, and too slow.  i was too tired to notice...thought i'd been in my studio for hours, but as i drove home, it turned out to be 45 minutes.  unproductive.  a tired day. a sad day. tomorrow - followups with the Doc, and hopefully an answer to all this.

meanwhile, Perfect Stepdaughter brought this animal home for a visit ...

 a friend's dog she is watching.  watching drool, mostly.  bulimia cat was freaked. pay no attention to the mess in the background - we're getting ready to paint, and everything's all over.  an early night tonight.

Monday, March 25, 2013

today i felt her...all around me, wherever i went, i felt her.  at the store, i kept thinking that i had to get home to walk her.  in my studio, i'd look at my clock, thinking it was time to go walk her.  or feed her.  and i could feel her around me...she seemed happy, if that counts for anything.  and i was happy for her.  and it came as no surprise that husband called from 3 hours away on a business trip to tell me that the Emergency Vet called him to let him know her ashes are there.  we can go pick them up.  i decided to wait for him to be home and come with me.  there was a moment where i wanted them here right here with me tonight.  but knew it would be better to wait.  i'm grateful for this time to properly heal.  mostly, i know it was the right decision at the right time, and that it will take a while for missing her part to ease into it's place.  bulimia cat has been staying very close, sleeping in all of her spots.  i told diva that now she could sneak up on kitty and scare the be-hay-soos out of him, like he did to her all the time.  i'm watching for it.
wednesday is my blood work follow up, and i hope to get started rebuilding this old body...spackling,  oiling the rusty parts, and doing whatever needs to be done to get back to a healthy state.  it's time to take care of myself better.  it has been a helluva year.
i'll finish my thoughts on the previous post some other time.  today, I'm running late.  i overslept, although "sleep" is a relative and nebulous thing.  Even with sleep "aids" it eludes me.  actually, it doesn't so much elude me as terrify me.  nightmares that would send Hitchcock to the studio in his bedclothes, excited to film.  waking.  sleeping. waking.  i work harder at night than i do during the day. and sometimes, the tendrils of a terror follows me to the daylight hours, so powerful an image has it cast.  and when i'm least on guard, it shrieks up in front of me.  i work hard to not let it show, or you'd probably never meet me at Starbucks.  but i am haunted, there's no doubt.  at times, the ghoulies go away, content to recharge themselves or perhaps hibernating.  who knows.  but then they return.  and there's nothing keeping them away.  so i go through the weeks in a half-asleep haze, having been kept awake half the night.  and husband wonders why a fulltime regulation job is just not in the cards for me. a cheerful post today, eh?  sorry.  i have a studio week planned - husband out of town, and me needing the time making, and the time in the community of makers.  maybe some garlic or a silver bullet will keep the terrors away...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

fast or slow?

I read in our newspaper that COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, will be speaking nearby.  She has a new book to promote,  Lean In.  The book espouses her view that the women's movement has stalled...that women still do not have equality, presumably meaning in the workforce.  She urges women to ramp it up, nose to the grindstone, especially in those "difficult child-bearing years."  (that may not be an exact quote, just so you know.)  and most of what she says is true, from one perspective - the facts and figures of it all.  but.
i will take the view that women were fed a can of goo ...that we were told we could Have It All.  And that "all" was defined for us as a monster career track, beautiful & fulfilled & well-adjusted kids, a clean home, happy hubby, and a size 4 figure.  all before we turned 30.  and you can't.  just can't.  something has to give. (and i believe that's where the craft revolution got it's feet - old-fashioned, slow down making.)  I chose to Lean Back, i suppose.  i chose to hold life in my hand and gaze at it...to not just stop and smell the roses, but grow them and tend them.  and i will not have another round of women barging into the world telling other women that they need to step it up.  no sir.  i will not let another generation of women tell other women that unless they, too, stop sniveling-work harder-get tougher-achieve more, then they've failed.  all while wearing those ridiculous shoes with the 10" spike heels.  stop this madness, ladies.  just be.  it is okay to "drop back" and raise your children - they are literally our future, so i ask that you do it well.  it's okay to not want the corner office...there has to be worker bees to bring the honey, don't forget.  there are so many different choices in life, and Sheryl may very well speak to some women who want that corner office and fast track life where meetings & deadlines trump soccer and school plays and bedtime stories read while snuggling.  i don't have children.  i was a child once, though.  and my childhood memories are those spent sitting in a big green chair with my mother while she read every book Dr. Suess wrote.  at leisure.  then walking to the library and getting more books.  her only deadline was the check-out date.  and dinnertime.
but my point is that there are so many different ways to live your life, and I don't appreciate this next round of go-gettum women telling everyone else that they are The Problem.  i have more to say on this, and will be back later.  i'm going to brunch, and have a deadline for hair & makeup.

Friday, March 22, 2013


so my life, these days, is a country music song...i lost my dog and my job in the same week.  my roots are grey, my feet hurt, and the juicy steak i've been saving for tonight - well tonight is FRIDAY and husband is a friday fish man.  that's the only nod to religion he makes, but it is a Rule of his.  so i work around it.  i have far more little glitchies, i suppose, that i feel are Important and Non-Negotiable.  so when i found this easy reference chart onWhere Happiness Is Found, I thought I would share.

There's an entire T-shirt with this chart in girls and guys sizes.  here.  And most of these are items you already have on hand, like glitter, gummy bears and sporks, so what the heck??? we should all just Be Happy, right?  I plan to gather those supplies, and ride my pink unicorn down to my studio today, since i had dreams all night last night, and the non-terrifying ones involved making art.  but first to dig out of the snow.
my heart is starting to heal a bit, and i am starting to get a realization that not only was diva's purpose fulfilled, but mine was, as well...to give her a good home and as much love as a human can muster.  she musta been wicked special to God  to merit the coincidences that took place in order for me to get her as my fur baby.  she was, and is, that special to me.  so - on to the unicorn chart.  which can also be a tshirt or iphone case and which is designed by a real live artist such as myself, but NOT myself in this case.  and i hope Cayetano gets his designs somewhere where he makes serious cash, because he is That Good.  I own some of his work, and perfect Stepdaughter even laid out her own cash for some of his work.  and he has a cool name.  His sister Carrie makes handmade books of the sort that make you not want to write in them, they are that wonderful and almost sacred.  i'll be helping her make her website, but her etsy shop is usually in-and-out, so if you see something - buy it quick! i just checked and it's empty at the moment - sold out.
they are both in the building where my studio is.  i love that.  so is Helen Carter, and Mike...the renegade seamstress and her hubby.  she is the genius behind Secret Lentil.  go to her website, and read the long passage on the front.  it's awesome.  they are awesome, the clothes are awesome.  own you some Lentil.  another friend-in-the-building is Edie Brown.  you meet her, say hello, and fall in love with her.  she's always smiling and uber-talented.  and she's in my former magic studio 261.  what's not to love?  she shares the studio with her best friend, and a painting i Must Own.
hey - i need a small couchlette for my studio, and after becoming unemployed yesterday, have cancelled my shopping trip to buy one new.  if you have one please let me know.  
i love that the unicorn has a bacon horn!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

my body said NO to getting far from bed today, so I will listen.  no choice, actually.  In these days, husband and i are realizing how empty the house seems, and how full each others arms are.  our grief is drawing us closer, as we allow each other the distance or activity or closeness that is needed at the moment.  there is still a raw stripe down my heart, and i often find myself running to his office for a hug and a cry.  oftentimes, i find him there, tearful as well.  i am learning, again, about grief.  from a different head this time.  from an adult who has seen much grief, and knows it will follow it's own path, and that to deny it voice will not quash it - just delay it's roar.  so i whimper, cry, sob, holler - whatever is needed at the moment, knowing that it's a process of bringing a new reality into being...birthing a different way of getting around the world...this life after.  it's a shame that some don't understand the immense capacity for love that our pets have, and the huge void they leave behind.  i've been told i should go to the SPCA and pick out a new one.  and i know it was well-meaning.  but my dogs were like my children.  and i don't think there will be another in my life.  i am certain i cannot ever go through this again, even as i feel little bits healing and tiny realizations coming through.  so today is a tea in bed day, i think.  watching snow pile up on the deck.

the original post that started this blog, per your requests (not sure why some browsers won't go back that far):

2 weeks ago, I said goodbye to my best friend, my companion of 18 years-2 husbands-3 houses-millions of tears- 2 million smiles- 3 cars-4 dress sizes- 2 dogs- 1 cat-uncountable cups of coffee - 18,720 packs of cigarettes- 3 carpets - 6 jobs - and so many many of life's special wabi sabi moments sweet and dear. My dearest - my Kita - who taught me about love and patience and listening to the unspoken and seeing with the heart when there was no common language except the heart - except the essential - the essence of each...the appreciation of what each brought to other. just a dog, you may say. unless you've had a dog - shared your life with that constant companion who asks only for a scratch behind the ears (and 1/2 your hamburger) you can't understand. his coat absorbed the tears cried with my lifes anguish...his tail wagged when lightness came to our house. his dark eyes seemed to know the secrets i kept from the world. every night in the summer, we'd walk the neighborhood at 7 o'clock - the best part of the evening - and when dusk began to fall, he'd insist on stopping just outside the door in front of the stoop and sit with his back to me - still, quiet, looking out to the stars as if thanking his Creator for the day and all it had contained. 6 months ago, we said goodbye to my husband's dog Bear. A truly wonderful friend i had known a mere 6 years, yet mourned with my deepest heart of hearts. i asked him to save a place for Kita, knowing the time would be all too soon for the friends to reunite. when the evening came for Kita, i admit, i wasn't ready to say goodbye. it was the kindest thing, i know. his pain, his parts worn and weary. but how do you say goodbye to all that he is, was? i screamed and cursed the good that we had, for it made it that much harder to let him go. there is something so undeniably pure in the love you get from a dog....a love that asks for nothing in return - it just ...is. My youngest dog still looks for him. she goes to the spot he slept and sniffs for him. she mourns for him. Today, i received a package in the mail from the emergency vet we'd taken him to - some of the kindest, most compassionate people i've known. it was a plaster cast of his pawprint. i ran my finger over the dips and curves, so very glad for this one personal tactile remembrance. yet my heart tore and screamed. how long will my heart cry? how long will i mourn? i have a curl of his fur in a small jar on my desk with the quote from ee cummings on it "I carry your heart with me - I carry it in my heart." last weekend i took my little dog to the lake. I'm not the type to look for signs and messages - i just live my life and try to make the right decisions. but, i had been asking for a sign that Kita forgave me, for it seemed like we never got a proper goodbye with him in such a critical state. when i pulled into the grassy area by the boat launch, it looked as though someone had run a lawnmower over a large amount of paper - it seemed as though "confetti" was flying everywhere. when we got out of the car, i looked closer - Monarch butterflies - thousands of them - literally thousands. on a stop as they head out on migration. thank you, Kita for the show. my best friend, i love you to the moon and back.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

blog wonky ....sorry...not sure what happened here but will fix it when i get the energy

the first day

i'll be honest with you, because i always am.  yesterday was the hardest day of my recent life.  and despite husband's tentative question about another dog "sometime," the answer is a clear & unequivocal  no.  never.
and i am learning to be honest with my grief, being in a different place entirely than when Kita died.  i am learning to let it have it's head...to let it come and go when it chooses...to sob fully - and loudly if needed, clutching my sides and howling...but also to let it ebb and not feel guilty for moments when my head goes to the normal places of Things That Need To Get Done, such as laundry.
i slept quite a bit yesterday, and slept through the night, waking early when bulimia cat wrapped herself/himself tight into a ball and slept against my belly.  diva's spot.
but in the midst of all this jumbled up stuff, i also feel an unwinding of tension, a letting-down of my hyper-alert guard...a little, then a lot.  this is the first time, really, since 1977 that i haven't felt responsible for someone or something's well-being.  First watching out for my mother, when my father passed away.  then a series of patently inappropriate boyfriends that were happy to let someone else worry about their recklessness with life.  then, of course, my Nikita, joined 10 years later by Nikki, my Diva dog, and 2 years after that by Bear, 2 stepchildren, a husband, new job, new house and a completely different way of living life.  the word compromise was a difficult one to add to my dictionary, as i felt i needed to control all things in order to ensure a good outcome.  a safe outcome.  one that didn't end up like a call to 911 that i would have to work, and fix.  slowly, the circle of responsibility has gotten smaller as we lost beloved ones Bear & Kita, and kids grew up & left home.  my hyper-alert mind never went on stand-down though, and it was beginning to take a toll on my body with disease and unease running rampant through my joints and body, making me their bitch.  sleep was something i tried to do sitting up at my desk for a few minutes when no one was looking.  a sleeping pill was out of the question - what if diva needed me in the night? what if i was unable to wake from a nightmare?  it's no secret, but you may not have known that i suffer from PTSD from my years at 911.  especially the last year.  especially the last month.  the one that ended in 9-11.  you may not realize all that was involved at my job in that regard, believing us to be safe at 5 hours away.  and still i am unable to tell what i know.  there was just no time that was mine alone...being a stepmom, a wife, a mom to Diva, Becky Home Ec-y.  I tried being a good friend, but between all the dust, i know i failed miserably - forgetting birthdays, forgetting coffee dates, getting ready to go meet up and having a panic attack and needing to stay home.
and i will be honest with you, because i always am here, traveling alongside the chainsaw of grief is a cool breeze...stardust sawdust.  for i am also feeling a lifting of the burden of responsibility and worry.  not to be confused - diva was never a burden to my heart.  never not ever.  i won't detail the nightmares that were churned up by worry.  nightmares slamming into an already overly creative horror show of theater, still from my 911 days.  and i have to wonder if those dragons will be easier to slay without the added worry.  yesterday was difficult, both in the decision and in the actuality of it...you don't think to ask a Dr if they've ever done this before.  but today i see where things may lead to a positive.  where worry will know it's place, and "control" will only be used in conjunction with the word "remote."
and i plan to spend the day in my studio - a place that has not registered much creativity...when i'm there, i feel i should be home with diva.  when i'm home with her, i feel like i want to be in the studio.  now, i feel a releasing of the ropes. a bit. slowly.  and i am willing to let them dwindle to a single golden thread - her heart to mine - which can travel with me anywhere.  and i believe that today i will make a sacred piece of art with some golden thread and some soft nuno felt and some Blue Jay feathers and some bling, because we decided, her and i, that she would either become a Real Princess, or a Blue Jay.  she was undecided.  but i suspect the princess gig is more her style.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

tissue alert

way back when.  i typed my first post.  it was in response to the death of my beloved Kita.  the emotions and memories simply would not be contained in tears wept, sobs that echoed through my hallways, and through the forest as i walked Diva.  just the two of us then.  when the rawness whipped at me like a Bering Sea storm and caught me unawares at the the sight of a favorite toy, or his special dish.
Today, i come to you again, howling and without spoken words.  for no words will take on the daunting task of trying to express how i feel.  Diva is gone.
a dream came to me in the wee hours, after a night with little sleep - diva pacing and tapping my head constantly.  the dream - my father and his sister, Lillian, from whom i take my Hebrew name.  my father saying "give her release - she has fulfilled her purpose.  i will catch her."  and i realized how diva must long for release into a world where she isn't afraid of everything because she can't see it or hear very well or make sense of it.
i would come home, exhausted, and she would jump and wag and be like a puppy, knowing we were going out.  and i would take her, faithfully, for a walk through the woods.  knowing she had already had many accidents in the house throughout the day.  knowing that in a few short hours, she would start Sundowning and the pacing and blank stares would begin.  every night.  all night.  and her purpose had been fulfilled and then some...she taught me patience like i can't even imagine.  she was never an easy dog, as the vet put it recently.  and that was an understatement.
my only regret with the decision is that after 15 years of relationship with my vet, they couldn't find an opening in their schedule till monday night to give us this final compassionate act.  we were forced to go to the bville emergency vet.  they were very compassionate and did all the right things.  it was just hard for me to think that Diva had the added stress of an unfamiliar environment.
so today, i'll be gentle with myself.  i did the hardest part already, and cleared away as many toys as i could bear, not wanting an ambush of deep emotion.  today i'll nap and remember.

Friday, March 15, 2013

ok then i'll be the one to say it in print.  so far, 2013, you have sucked.

does everyone feel better now?  relieved that it's been said?

conversation after conversation I've had with my friends, and overheard conversations by total strangers.  and so far, it seems that 2013 would be voted completely off the calendar if it were possible. i know for me, this has been a bucking bronco of a ride the past few months, with change-ups and twists every hour some days.  riding high one minute, then BAM!  slammed to the ground, dusty, feeling broken in every spot, while the clowns try to distract that beast that threw you...while you wobble to your feet to gain some perspective, and possibly some bandaging.  but back up in the saddle we go, don't we?  rinse and repeat.  i have no answers.  just wanted to be the one to tell the truth of it all.

this is again a short post - diva is blooming full with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction...she paces endlessly from dusk till she falls asleep, getting lost in her familiar places of her own house.  it seems she only knows me at that those times - everyone else becoming a stranger.  i know, i know.  and yet, selfishly, she is my golden tether to this earth.  without her, i feel i have no real reason.  so i decide slowly.  but hopefully not too slowly.  she deserves dignity.

i'm done talking now...your turn...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

i have this job.  well, i've had it for about a month or 6 weeks-ish.  and there are things i love about it, and things that are...meh.  it's in an office and i have to get up wicked early, which means i have to go to bed wicked early, so during the week i do very little but sleep and work and eat.  which has been frustrating since i have a perfectly good studio 2 blocks away from my job.  which isn't getting used. because i'm either working or sleeping.
i don't find my raison d'etre there, but i like it.  and am trying my best to figure out what the holy heck is expected of me...the job is very complex and very large.  i am simple and small.  well, short, anyway.  so it may not be a good fit.  and i have 2 probationary weeks to prove it does fit.  which on one hand doesn't freak me out - either it will work out or it won't.  stressing won't solve a thing.  but on the other hand, it's a matter of pride.  having never been bounced from a job (except for one excruciatingly hideous radio job where i made them fire me because the GM wanted me to quit because he didn't have the whatsis to fire me.  I believe there were words said to the effect of "You Aren't Man Enough To Fire Me, You Baton Rouge B-tard," just before i walked out of the room, terrified that i had actually said those words.  and we all silently agreed that i wouldn't be back).  So aside from that, i've pretty much just stayed at a job until the thought of returning made me want to eat my own hand off just to be able to call in sick.  but i sort of know this job doesn't have longevity written all over it for me, so i guess i'd just as soon get it over with.  i had been promised during my interview that they usually find somewhere else in the company for the wash-outs in this department.  and there is a revolving door of tearful trainees washing out, apparently.  the thing is, 2 women from my department just got to the point where they were chewing on their hands, and took the last two openings elsewhere in the company.  so it's do or die for me.  if i could get a paycheck just to stay home and be me, i'd grab it.  oh wait - that's Public Assistance.  sigh.
well, if anyone i work with reads this, i want you to know that i like my job and want to stay.  and i like YOU and want to stay so i can see you every day.  so say a prayer for me, because it will take an act of God for me to "get" this shit for real, and to get an audit score in the high 90's consistently.
and if i don't make it, then God had other things for me to do, i suppose.  and don't be mad if i don't get together with you after i'm unemployed.  i'm not a real social person, and honestly - i don't want to listen to you bitch about a job i just got unemployed from.  and lunch will be your treat forever.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

it's spring-like on and off...ADK-ers call it mud season, and it sure looks like it in my backyard.  puppy-belly deep of mud and melted snow.  the owls are back in the woods, swooping and landing in trees very close to the path i take with diva.  mostly juveniles - the adults are careful to stay back or up higher.  a friend was attacked by a falcon while he was walking to his car last week.  it's a crazy time of year.  last saturday's peek at my Lake was enough to keep me going for some time, and has me energized!  i got to spend a precious few moments with a special friend on the 3rd floor this late afternoon...turned my perspective right 'round right 'round and i do believe i'll be working on some pieces down in James Bond +1...rather than making art for a specific show, or whatever, i finally got my head around making art just for making art...letting my fingers express my spirit once again.  and i believe there will be some STUFF coming out of this studio.
the winter has seen threads of friendship loosen, as everyone hunkers in and looks for light somewhere.   i am hoping those golden tethers reel hearts in close, now that the thaw has begun...there are some that just take my breath away with how much i am blessed to know them.  going months without hearing their voice is sad.  understandable, but sad all the same.  and to be honest, i've been in such a state mentally that i wasn't much good as a friend myself.  but i'm baaaack :)
so what's on the stove?  wellll...quite a lot!  i'm ankle deep in planning an honest-to-goodness art retreat, and an arts & crafts vendor opportunity locally.  (2 different events).  The retreat will be delish!  everything i've liked about retreats...everything others' have told me they liked about their favorite retreats...everything teachers told me THEY liked about their favorite retreats.  whew.  that's a lotta like.  more to come.  fine art, fine craft, fine food, fine fun.  and that's all i have to say for now.
it is time to snuggle my diva, which is what i mostly do these days - get up in the dark, walk the diva,  work all day, hurry home, walk the diva, make dinner, snuggle the diva, sleep.  rinse repreat.  i know!  much like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, right?  without the high heels.  by the way, i'm thinking of putting together a workshop on how to set up a website.  1 day...you leave with a website.  free.  anyone interested?  email me for deets.  in fact - email me just to say hi - i get lonely too!

Friday, March 08, 2013

just a quickie - due to the fact that i am suddenly getting 30 or more spam "anonymous" comments sent to my phone for moderation (per day), I've turned off comments for a while.  mostly y'all email me anyway :)

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

it's been such a long while since i sat here talking to you.  wow.  2/28 to be exact.  and since then so much and so little has happened...so much is shaking out and so much tucking in...i freeze and thaw, and rage against injustice, my self, short sighted folks, cracks in the ceiling...anything and nothing.  i have always been brutally honest with you, and will continue today...let me say that i have never not ever judged someone based on their outwards...just their inwards and actions and intentions.  i have been unable, of late, to do myself the same kindness.  i have been at war with my weight, my hair cut, my crooked teeth, my wrinkles, all of it wrapped up into one and each separate part.  down to my toes.  after quitting smoking, and after taking Lexapro years ago, i began gaining weight at an alarming pace...moving from size to size before i could clip the tags from the next up size.  and when i got my results back from my "well" visit...oy vey...numbers off the deep end of the charts.  and winter lagging on is not helping matters at all.  at all.  my Big Girl job is going fine.  but ... my brandie new studio just 2 blocks away sits idle for the most part.  some days after work, i stop in and just smile in the middle of the room.  i have finally found fire in my belly and am eager to get it focused, and need to spend serious time ensconced.  right now, i am spending just 1 weekend day there.  period.  and am grateful for that, don't get me wrong.  but.  yet.  ach.  but it's all tumbling about inside and occasionally spilling out in the form of tears.  or a bad word.  and the thing that frosted my cupcake was that i finally made some time to get to my doctor to ask for help.  to say How Do I Get My Weight Out Of the obese range according to the internet?  how do i get healthy, cholesteral-wise?  and triglyceride-wise?  my hair...eh...it'll grow. but my exploding veins and lumps and bumps and whatevers - not such a cosmetic fix.  and my doctor was Too Busy to go through the list.  she stopped after sinus infection & UTI, and handed me a prescription for Augmentin.  and said Make Another Appointment and we can address the rest.  now, would that be before or after my heart attack?  but i'm being dramatic here. i suppose.  but my faith in the medical profession has gone pfft.  how do you find a good doctor?  word of mouth?  where do you advertise that you need a referral?  here?  let me know, please.  okay - i'm going to stop now and make some dinner.  i know - right in the middle - like my doctor.  former doctor.  but really i'm miserable and don't want to spread it around.  so goodnight and be well.  trust me - be well.  we are all on our own out here.