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.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

christmas in pictures

Christmas was….drama-free and wonderful…romping with friends

playing tag...
a visit from one of santa's own?
and stretching...
and good neighbors who are great friends creating magic….

it was a week covered in sparkles.

(And a new blog venture…Couch Potato Rising…Move Your Feet Now…to track our neighborhood's newly formed walking team.  It's nicer with more).

Monday, December 23, 2013

2 questions...

1) has anyone seen my other slipper??

2) is anyone else looking forward to this holiday being done??

That's it for now.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It is amazing what can enter your life when you clear space for it.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Daily Henry

Henry not only creeps into your heart, but under your sweatshirt…then falls asleep, snoring softly...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

you are a special light

" Those stories about “special lights” are made to trick us into believing that good things happen only if something outside of us does the magic.
I was able to imagine a better destiny. I made it happen, day after day, inside my head. I wrote that imagined world down in diaries, I drew it, I painted it, I modeled it in clay and plasticine, I sang it  out loud in the bathroom, I day dreamed about it.   That imaginary reality became my project, my experiment, my secret love, the only one thing that I could count on because it was all up to me. Everything else failed me but not my imagination.
I became so connected to my fantastic world, so familiar with it, so in love with it that I lost my way back into that other ugly world where I was born. I totally forgot how to get back there. And when I became an adult (and before I was even aware of it) I had moved full-time into that better world, a world that  became real before my eyes. One choice at a time, one day at a time, one idea at a time I found my way into a better reality. One morning I opened my eyes and said:  I MADE IT! I still say that inside my head once in a while when I wake up."

from the blog of  Elsa Mora

some days, most days, i feel like a special light.  some days, not so much.  and there's no rhyme or reason to what the day will look like.  2 identical days, in fact, can feel completely different.  and who knows why?  it's common & easy to look at someone else and say "well, if I had her _______(fill in the blank with your own insecurity), then of course i would succeed,"  or "she has someone to support her financially, so of course she can dibble dabble in ________(fill in the blank with your own wish job)."  but when do we decide Yes or No?  when do we decide that we are going to take a scary (or not so scary) step and walk toward that dream job or dream life or whatever?  and it isn't that you take the step toward it, it's that you decide whether or not you will, then move in that direction without looking back.    I have experience here.  Indecision will choke the life out of you.  and during that withering process, your feet will stay firmly rooted in place.  you will be afraid to move forward or backward, left or right, lest you make the wrong choice.  there is no wrong choice.  there - i just saved you thousands in counseling copays.  There is only the choice you make, then make the choice work.  if you choose to turn left, but keep looking right to see what you may have missed, you'll hit something.  remember Desiderata?  It starts with "Go."

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann c.1920

I tell you, there is not a single word of this poem that doesn't reach down and grab me.  
Wishing you vision to see your place in the world.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

just a quick check in…henry is going craaazy here - too much snow coupled with low temps mean he wants nothing to do with the outdoors.  so he's got all this pent up energy…just when i realize that EEK i have more work than time for some special reliquaries I promised for christmas.  the design has been especially hard - knowing the animals and people involved i want to make every detail even more perfect than usual.
a lump scare yesterday turned into a cyst, and surgical option, rather than all the other nastiness that loomed for an hour or so.
ok. Henry is really crankin up the nudge, so i'll be back later…..

Monday, December 16, 2013

Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.

Friday, December 13, 2013


my email is getting a lump of coal from santa this year.  my apologies if you've emailed me and have had no response - the mail did not come through.  some emails are making it to my phone, but not my computer, and some not at all.  so i apologize.  that also means that if you leave a comment, it may not get published, or it may get delayed - blogger sends them to me for approval by email, and then i flip the switch on them.  (having had too many male enhancement ads end up in comments, i just had to do it).
so that's the dealio.

(and Denise! I don't have your email, but wanted to contact you! if you put contact info in comments, i promise not to publish it - when i finally get the notification.  see above).

My PSD has entrusted me with a sacred memento of her beautiful horse - a snippet of his mane, and a small piece of leather from his bridle.  Today I will begin designing a necklace for her with these newly sacred objects.  I am honored for her trust in me, knowing how much these mean to her.

It's funny how an object is overlooked or even a mundane, unseen thing until the moment it becomes sacred…my FBI sweatshirt was always special to me, but I wore it when we took diva dog to her vet appointment, and i couldn't bring myself to wash her fur and scent out of it until last week.  it was time. i have my father's briefcase, and despite it weighing a ton, it will always be with me.  Just objects.  but sacred tethers.

i stopped making necklaces last spring.  well, let me explain.  i now only make talisman or memento  necklaces for specific people with a specific purpose.  i am taking commission work for those - whether it be a necklace, or a shrine box - but stopped making "just regular necklaces."  right now, i'm working on a shrine box to hold the ashes of a woman's beloved kitty.  it seems violating to take pictures of it, but perhaps i'll make one just as a sample and show you here.  i appreciate the trust that total strangers have placed in me - knowing that i consider their objects as sacred as they do.  right now, i have quite a number of pieces to work on, but will be continuing to schedule in others - just not in time for Christmas, most likely.

It feels like a prayer to be able to provide these pieces for people.  Sort of like the memory quilts, but with updated interest.

okay - to the jeweler's bench and time to hammer!

wishing you a sacred day, filled with new eyes to see old objects….

Thursday, December 12, 2013

i know exactly what grabbed that tendril of a thought and began pulling the thread of it.  i know exactly what began to unravel before i grabbed the scissors and snipped it.  the next 3 days are jammed with dinner dates with friends of my husband's.  i have nothing to wear that 1) fits, and 2) is appropriate.  It is not likely that wearing sweats or jeans or my bathrobe will be appropriate in the restaurant we are headed to friday night.  with relatives of husband's that i have never met.  and time is too crunched to be able to go find something.  so, that reminded me of my doctor appointment Monday which ended with a pronouncement that a 2nd sleep study should be done with a CPAP.  It is an equal pull between the CPAP study and the nothing-to-wear issue.  So, I could sit in my closet and wail about this, or rearrange everything in an attempt to find time to shop and at least find a new top, and wear the same bottoms (I have 1 pair of black dress pants that fit).  And that realization led me to remember a bin of clothes from last year that hasn't been unpacked for winter yet.  there may just be a sweater in one of them that would work. why am i rambling on about this?  i guess i'm kinda proud of myself for not just laying down and taking what the lies in my mind had to dish out.  hmmmm…what other lies am i believing?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

oh PS

Check out Glitter & Grunge zine….yep I'm in there :)
 Mindy Tsonas has done a great job - lots of hard work went into this project of love.  I'm thrilled to be included.

a little love

henry & his gal pal, Sadie dug up one of Diva Dog's left behind toys…
clearly some Learning To Share issues to work out.  Sadie is a Yorkie, but her mom calls her a Porkie.  
Henry got a new coat, which he hates even though I moved the belly strap so it doesn't mess with his bizness.  He says he looks like a dork.  I said welcome to the family, at least your hairdresser doesn't make you look like a boy from the Netherlands.

The year is winding down, and my birthday is fast approaching - two milestones that make you take stock of the year.  So far, I'm about even for plusses and minuses, so it's time to change the rating scale. and that's where my shifting is taking place - using a whole different scale to measure life, and quality of life, by.  I'm still working this out, so I'll spare you the long-winded & pointless trip on my train of thought.  But between this rolling epiphany, and the walking practice with my neighbor, i am in a new space in my head.  and the view is pretty good.  i'm hoping to keep a steady stream of endorphins plugging up my arteries, and didn't even scream MOTHER &^@(!* when i kicked the doorframe and broke my baby toe tonight.  is this like the 80th time on that same toe??  so far, no noticeable difference in the fibro pain, but i am hopeful.  my husband asked how i can exercise with the fibro, and i figured it hurt no matter what, so i may as well lose some pounds.
the snow is dusting in tonight - nothing too disrespectful planned, but it is cold cold cold - it's officially 21-degrees, but the "real feel" is 5-degrees.  so Henry better start loving his new coat.
okay - off to bed.  toe is throbbing.  rotator cuff is throbbing from the Timber incident.  time for pain meds and hot cocoa.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

oh, and this too

You just never know, who in the crowd, standing beside you in line or passing you in the street, might be raised in spirit, or even lifted from despair, by the kindness in your glance or the comfort of your smile.

But they may never forget. 
i am just amazed at how these walking endorphins pull me through the day.  it's just amazing.  I'm also amazed at how much i miss making art.  I've been away from the studio for too long.  I have 3 fiber pieces in progress, and a very large piece hogging up my entire table.  it's just been sitting there while i flit around buying/returning/building/re-doing/ and yes - walking.  i'm meeting some amazingly inspiring & positive people in my quest to find the best gear for this.  and i wonder why i picked winter to begin a walking program?? yesterday i went to the new Fleet Feet store nearby and found TrailHead hats with PONYTAIL holes! i know - sounds shallow.  but i never wear hats because i look like a total dork in them.  and they're uncomfortable - what do you do when your hair is just long enough for a ponytail, but not really long? anyway, i met a woman who works there who is as fired up about me reaching my goal as i am.  and my neighbor announced that she wants to join the Couch Potato To 5K group when it starts up in the spring.  so naturally i have to also.  Plus, it's called NoBo, as in No Boundaries, so that's cool enough for me.  i'll have to check with my knees though.  that kind of weight-bearing may not be in the cards. i'm down 3 pounds, and feel better than i have in a while (despite the fly girl fall on sunday).  i have a goal to lose 60 pounds by a specific date, and i will work hard towards that.  finding myself making better food choices too.  but still enjoying those peanut butter chocolate chip cookies my neighbor brought over.  yeah, THAT neighbor.  the walking buddy.  i'll make her walk by the road next time.  speaking of walking - time to take Henry for a jaunt.
wishing you easy transitions and being fully available for smelling the balsam fir.

Monday, December 09, 2013

my gifts

This year, I've had to scale back my surprise KMart layaway payoff thing quite a lot, and that had me feeling pretty bad.  despite a friend donating the sale of an item she made, i am still at just $100.  It has been a little difficult, having been out of the 925 for so long, and i can't ask my husband to pony up, since this is not his thing.  I like gifting unexpected things - i love to make other people's rotten moment (or day) turn around - or at least have 1 shiny thing to point to that went right, or that was beautiful.  it has a ripple effect.  of that i am certain.  but this year my puny $100 isn't going to stretch as far as i want.  and it had me rethinking a lot of things - if they still belong in my life…is it time to change up…etc.  My career goal is to be a philanthropist.  that's what i want to do.  and then i realized that philanthropy involved making a difference in peoples' lives, and not just waiting to win the lottery and having gobs of money to hand out, the more i realized that i can realize my career goal n-o-w.  Yesterday, i became a philanthropist.  true.  but before you email me with requests to pay off your mortgage (which i would gladly do, if i had the means), i realized that my gifts aren't exactly money right now.  they will be someday.  i am 100% certain.  i'm just not sure how yet, and just not today.  years ago, i traveled with a band.  cold fact.  i sang, believe it or not.  in french and english, though my french has left much to be desired.  (i once wanted to be a french teacher, though).  Anyway, the manager's wife traveled with us, and one day she said to me "you have an intrinsic way of seeing the big picture and breaking it down to the small parts.  You have a way of seeing what needs to get done, and doing it."

Those words have stayed with me for 34 years, and Charlotte - if you're out there, know that you changed me.  right there.  right then.  and forever. ever forever.

so now, i will freely give all of my gifts every day…i will smile at every person i make eye contact with - my smile will be my gift.  if a neighbor has surgery or breaks an elbow, i will make sure there is dinner on their table and their dogs are walked.  (the kids are up to someone else *smile*).  And as always, i will let those close to me know that i honor their friendship, and that they have a special gift.
I have other gifts to give out every day, but i won't hog up your time.  it just feels so damn good!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

diggin this

walked waaay more today than yesterday.  also took a tumble in the kitchen after slipping in the dog dish while imaging myself a dance goddess.  ironically, this song was playing:

yeah.  like that.  Timber.  and although i thought i was all like the gals at :28, sadly i was mistaken.  but for those moments in my head….i rocked that kitchen.  (side note: i would tumble for Pitbull any day.  Not just today).
my life is all that excitement today - started the morning pulling a tick from Henry's head, and it just gained speed from there…
the other songs playing in my head?

and now for some wine, ibuprophen, and a Henry snuggle.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

it is 9:30.  Henry has eaten or chewed:
1) vacuum cleaner attachment
2) a chair leg (as I was sitting on it - thought he had his nylabone)
3) a paper towel tube that the cat scored from the garbage for him
4) a tiny screwdriver set to fix eyeglasses
5) poop from the litter box.

He has only been awake for 30 minutes.
it is now nap time.
(i know this is a pic from yesterday-ish, but i love it)

Friday, December 06, 2013

So far, so good. even though it's been just a few days, my neighbor & I have walked 4+ miles each day.  Our plan is to walk Tuesdays, Thursdays around 4:30 when she gets home, and then Sunday mornings.  I'm going today to talk to a nearby gym to see if I can get a deal on a membership for us that would be for 2 days a week/treadmill only.  That way if the weather was bad (what are the chances??)  we won't miss a beat.  The mall-walking thing is an option too, but with my shopping addiction it may be a difficult thing.  an expensive thing!
I have my work in a show in New Hampshire right now - well 4 pieces anyway.  The show is called Off The Grid, and there are works by 25+ artists.  Everyone's pieces are 6x6!  It looks cool.  go see here .  Susan Schwake  is a calm, quiet soul that plows in and gets it done.  in regular life and in work life.  She is also the creator of the art retreat I went to on the private island last fall, Artstream Art Retreat Camp.  Her story is pretty brave, but you'd never guess.
so far, I am loving every single piece in the show, but really want Hilaree Robinson's "honestly"

Amy Rice's "Dogs In Sweaters"

Anne Nestor Nelson's "Glass Ceiling #4"

but I'd be lying if i didn't say that i really just love them all…these are my favorites of the moment.

I have to get back to the work table…it's been a very busy week, and I've neglected my own artwork.  With the walking goals in place, it helps to form my days - something that's been getting more and more nebulous and organic as the weeks and months go by.  I have an idea for a show noodling around in my head, and some worktime will help capture it.
my guilty pleasure is Flow magazine.  a bit pricey, because it is from the Netherlands, but oh so worth it  The paper they use is luscious! And the articles are amazing.  it's really funny because this month features work by Jen Renninger, who just had a show at the same gallery I'm in now!  One of the little blurbs is about the book, 29 Gifts.  I have the book waiting for me at Barnes & Noble. 
Another is about a Buddhist monk who created a website for Ten Minute Mindfulness. you can try it for 10 days free!  Guided meditations and such.  very cool.  if you like it after 10 days, then you sign up to continue.  
there's a ton more to share, but this little guy 
is no longer napping, and that can only mean mischief.
wishing you a sweet and gentle day.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

it starts today

As Henry and i were walking through the woods today, i realized how i've been talking about getting fit and healthy again.  talking about it. not doing anything about it.  just talking.  and the past few days, i've made inquiry at a kickboxing place that I'm familiar with.  and a new 24/7 gym nearby. and as i ate a handful of hershey kisses, thought about eating healthier.
then i realized some amazing truths.
Way back when, around 6 years ago, i set a goal to quit smoking by September.  that left me 9 months to quit.  i was going away to an art retreat and didn't want to be the only smoker.  as i usually was.  and i did it.  i went back and forth with smoking & quitting until last year, when i quit for good.  despite the temptation to start again.  often.
So why not set a goal of losing x-number of pounds by June, when I return to the same art retreat?  And rather than make it a pain in the ass, make it a daily choice.  Every day, wake up and say "it starts today."  so that day's goal will be a proper fitness and nutritional balance.  there are no "cheat" days, because each day is a choice whether or not it will be healthy choices or not.  so no feelings of LOSER or disappointment in myself (goodness knows there are plenty of other folks feeling disappointed in me, so that lane is filled with traffic and needs no more).  good.  i smile.  this will work.  the worst part about starting a new way of doing things is that it seems monumental.  (notice i did not say "quitting" or  "habit").  Like saying, "I'm going to be vegan, starting tomorrow."  and all you see is 30 years of no porterhouse. or removing sugar from your diet and honestly, for me, all i can think of is birthday cake in all it's forms.  every minute.  from that minute forward through eternity.  so if every day is a choice, then it is so do-able.  i can do anything for a day. (mostly).  and like when i quit smoking, i woke up and said "let's see how long I can go without a cigarette, and then i'll smoke."  and 1 day became 2 became 3 till it seemed silly to waste the effort.  and the clean smelling hair.  and the real Chanel #5 I treated myself to (from France - the imported Chanel has a different formula, I found out from a perfumerie).
and there are so many good things to eat that aren't gravy-laden…tacos, spaghetti squash, roasted veggies (oh god! try roasting radishes! they get sweet)…you get the point.  now me and cupcakes will need a talk.  my downfall.  there is nothing i don't like about cupcakes plural.  so they will need to taunt someone else, and i bet i can eat just 1.
so it starts today.  i will respect my body's limitations right now, but i will honor it's former athletic self. we will meet in the middle.  (did you know i used to figure skate with an Olympic Gold medalist? hard to believe now, but soon….)
what would you start if you knew it was just for a day?