a Tiny description

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


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Well, at least it started out being a good day. I'd show you pictures of Henry, and regale you with tales of his unsurpassed cuteness, but it's late. And the Space Between married...and Not married, is not a place for wimps and cowards. I may make some art to that theme when I can get into my studio again. I may give a survivor workshop. Or maybe just kick this life to the curb, shed the skin, rinse and repeat. Shiny and new. With better eyes and a stronger heart. Meanwhile, a caramel colored pup is snoring next to me, and i should join him. Good night, sweet dreams to you, my friend.

Monday, February 23, 2015

i'm sorry, but it's taken me a full 10 minutes to get to this page.  Thank you, Verizon for your whiptastic slo-mo internet…after the contract is signed.

deep breath.  okay.

there's a furor going on in the web world over the movie 50 Shades Of Grey.  In case you didn't know, Grey is the main character's last name.  On my street, we have a Girl's Movie Night, which has become also a theater matinee day, since we all want out of the same 4 walls this winter.  We generally take turns picking the movie.  yesterday was not my pick, and we went to see 50 Shades.  Now, I didn't read the book, so I had no idea what the movie was about.  This will not spoil it, but it's about a billionaire - young, handsome, single, who is sexually into domination.  BUT what's been glossed over in the hate posts is it's also about a young, pretty, single grad student and her choices - she's nowhere close to being a billionaire, and probably not even a hundredaire.  They meet, she's attracted to him, and he to her.  and that's where the opinion pollsters go nuts.  There are comments like "if he lived in a trailer park, it would be an episode of CSI," etc., insinuating that the male character is a demented perv, preying on this helpless woman.  Let me say that domination is not my thing, unless we speak of chocolate.  In the movie, the woman is 100% aware of what she is getting into, inasmuch as she has been provided with a long, legal document that she must read, initial, and sign.  The terms, conditions, acts he engages in and expects her to comply with (IF she agrees) are explicitly spelled out, and she calls a business meeting with him to discuss changes she wants made to the document.  She is free to leave at any time when they are together, and he has a helicopter, chauffeur, whatever, standing by at all times for her to just walk out the door.  The sex scenes are somewhat explicit.  The movie was well done & not gratuitous, and not as involved as the book according to a woman who read the series.  What took my interest was watching as the woman in the film played him mentally…not just seeing his billions as a potential playground for herself, but drawing her boundaries for her SelfWorth, as well as her self physically.  She is not a helpless waif, who is taken in by the rich & powerful man. I probably will not see the Part 2 & 3 (& maybe 4), because I prefer a different type of movie.  but didn't walk away all inflamed about how he used her.  They used one another equally.  it was as much a head game as a physical game.  There was nothing involved that wasn't consensual.  She explored physically what she wanted, and made it clear that she wanted more from him emotionally.  He made it clear that he was unable to give her anything emotionally.  so it became her choice…fully aware of what he would/could and could not/ would not offer her.  I won't spoil it any further, but i just don't understand the furor over the movie, other than it touches on a taboo.  i find "shoot em up" movies to be more egregious, with gratuitous & graphic murder, but there are those that disagree.  So it's just whatever you care to spend your money on, I guess.  The popcorn was good.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

ugh…has it been a week? well, i apologize that this post will be tiny and kind of not worth the wait…
Today I hosted my very first workshop with adult women.  there were 10 of us and I have to say…it went very well!  I've lost countless hours of sleep over this, worrying if i was going to make a bumbling fool out of myself.  not because i've never made a bumbling fool out of myself - i do that regularly.  but because there was so much involved in the set-up and take down and the procurement of supplies and things that went wrong and awry and not the least of which was that these women were driving through a snow-hell and expecting to have A Good Time and Learn Art…soooo not too much pressure put on myself.  they had a great time (unless they lied on their questionnaires) and I am exhausted.  barely 7pm and if i had sheets on my bed, i'd be rolling over and drooling on my pillow right now.  Henry missed me.  So tomorrow I'm going to a movie with my friend, but otherwise sticking close to home.  I have a Very Early doctor appt monday, so no sleeping in then.  i need a vacation…`

Saturday, February 14, 2015

for my birthday, my brother & sister-in-law got me some magic.  It looks like a book called "You Only Live Once," but it is actually magic contained in a big, beautiful book with luscious pictures, dreams and possibilities. the premise of the book is to present wildly imaginable and fantastical things to do if you have a certain amount of time… an hour, a day, a week, etc.  And they range from taking a dance lesson to making a raft etc.  But not just a dance lesson or a raft…a dance lesson in, say, Cuba.  a Life Raft built within a 6-day adventure, Huck Finn style, in another country I can't recall right now.
They gave me the book at my most recent epic birthday gathering, and i opened then & there and began to crack open within myself…remembering that dreams can come true….remembering that, although i won't be watching eagles in Alaska or Helsinki soon, I can get up early and watch the eagles right down the street from me in the DEC wooded super secret area.  Or I can promise myself to get up early on a sunday morning a few times a month and go snowshoeing at Beaver Lake, then enjoy some hot chocolate by the fire.  In short, the book fed the embers that were dying down a bit.  it has been close to 2 months since then, and my thoughts have focused on my husband leaving…how will i live?  how will I get medical care?  how will i buy groceries?  Where will I live?  every thought imaginable.  But today - Valentine's day - i picked up The Book again, to read while i was having breakfast. (i have to read while i eat breakfast!) And the magic raced out of the book, swirled around my heart, and once again made me realize how small i was focusing…all macro instead of fish eye.  and my heart expanded as my dreams woke up once again.  and i can't stop smiling.
i have a passport with no stamps.  that is a great sadness. the world is so big and interesting…i need to find my way somewhere.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

the good, the bad, the ugly, right?
Last night was the ugliest of ugly, with threatening emails and gulping sobs, and a late night phone call that just proved how little i am loved in this house.  aside from the 4-leggeds.  and i don't write this for pity or attention or any other thing.  just to share.  just to say hello, friend - i hope i haven't worn you out…that i've heard you, as well, as you muddle through your Very Difficult times.  this sadness thing sucks us in up to our knees and waists and just to our upper lip…allowing for breath, but sometimes closing off the words.  to just sit with someone while they move through the quicksand is a gift.  to make yourself a houseguest for someone for a time, till the scariest bits are past - well, that's a shade into the color "martyr." But believe me, it is a Gift of all gifts.  to just quietly be there with someone, not as a distraction to "get them happy,"  (because it isn't always a happy/sad thing), but to just be a beating heart and helping hand…to start the bath water when they don't feel like they can even manage a shower, or make the coffee when grief has stolen their ability.  to do the simplest of simple chores.  or not. or just sit and read a book, but be there so the emptiness doesn't turn into loneliness and join up with the deep sadness and overtake a weak moment.  yes.  to keep them walking the earth when there doesn't seem to be a damn good reason why they should.  you can't solve this for them, and to offer suggestions is annoying. but the day-to-day stuff gets forgotten while the heart & mind process this Big Difficult hairy monster.  and the animals need food and playtime and the carpet needs to be vacuumed and hair needs to be washed…so many details, when all they want to do is lay there tucked into a warm, heavy quilt.
Last night was the ugliest of ugly.  so far.  i suspect in weeks to come, last night will be a trip down candy cane lane.  and i suspect i will treasure your friendship exponentially by the week.  and though i can never not ever begin to repay you, know that your least littlest kindness should come back to you by the ton.  you deserve so much more than the world could return to you.  and i thank you.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

so here it is - 3 days after my feeble promise to post again.  I am teaching a workshop on the 21st that involves a lot of materials.  and i find myself spinning in circles trying to figure out what to bring and how to "display" it.  I want the table to look appealing and fun - not just a bunch of paint tubes thrown in the middle, and paper bits on the floor to pick through.  i want people to have fun and learn something and come away with new skills, or at least say they had a blast and would never do that again.  i want to use the very best materials, but can't afford enough Golden paints for 10 people.  I want to not be so attached to certain supplies, but i also know it's okay to have some special & sacred things just for myself. and i find myself procrasting…like right now.
I got an inquiry email from Tiny House Hunters (the TV show) wanting to know about me, my plans and if i would possibly consider being on their show maybe?  not an offer yet…just an inquiry.  so hmmm.  exciting, if the timing is right.
I saw a Tiny a few weeks ago.  A friend's ex-husband was building one in her driveway.  He then planned to haul it to some land he owns in the Adirondacks.  His skeptical girlfriend in tow.  I have seen the finished version of the set of plans he was using, although he modified out the parts i didn't like anyway.  and it was Tiny, all right. we danced around each other as he showed me where the shower & bathroom would be and where the kitchen would be - he was still in the rough stages.  and i realized i couldn't go Tiny-on-wheels.  I could go Tiny Small, built in a square.  but a tiny Tiny on wheels built in a rectangle wouldn't work as well for me.  I NEED to gather folks together.  It is what keeps my feet here on this earth.  and a Tiny on wheels wouldn't allow for that.  i could maybe see a Tiny on wheels as my private area from a small cottage.  but not as my main living space.
and last night, I did some laundry and realized how uncomfortable i felt with the second load.  when i started going Tiny, I gave all my clothes to the Thrifty Shopper a/k/a The Thrifty.  Almost all….anything that i didn't LOVE, didn't fit, didn't fit my RIGHT NOW job or current lifestyle…to the Thrifty.  so many folks are now blessed with suits that have mile high shoulder pads in size 2.  i will likely never be a size 2 again.  and will likely never work at a job requiring a suit - because a suit means stockings and heels.  i'm allergic and carry a card saying "NO HEELS."  (i lied right there).  giggling maniacally, i started going through every every thing.  i broke attachments, i gave away entire walls of art supplies.  i grew light.  i was a size 2, attachment-wise.  and by "attachment" i mean that every every thing went out into the hall and had to pass the ownership test to be allowed back in:  If i bring this back in, will it own me, or will i own it?  will having this in my life be a burden to drag around home to home, or will it enhance my life.  the garbage pile grew…the free giveaway pile grew.    i still have a long way to go upstairs in my home studio, and it's pretty much an unstructured mess, but i have a vision, so i'm cool with it.  i had thousands of dollars of jewelry supplies.  gone mostly.  i kept some, and still have some to go to their new (SURPRISE!) forever homes.  I have a very difficult time getting to the post office, not only because it's located in the very worst place to try to get to, and not only because every Sr. citizen shows up at noon just before the free lunch at the Sr. center next door and they just want to buy ONE STAMP but want to chat with the clerk at the exact time when the business folks and people who work need to get there.  but it's just such a sad place. (side note: I want to set up a kiosk outside to sell discount stamps to anyone with an AARP card and will chat for hours.  i will gladly be sponsored by everyone else.)  (i am old too, so i can say this.  but not as old as that.  and hope to never need to buy a daily stamp just to have human contact).
BUT! yesterday i discovered that Staples is a USPS drop off place, so Kim may get her October birthday present before next year, after all.
but back to laundry.
i felt like i suddenly had too much stuff.  i went from having an 8-foot by 10-foot closet in each of 4 bedrooms - crammed with my stuff on hangers and shelves and tubs and strewn across floors…to 1-and-a-half dresser drawers (small) and 1 rod in a coat-sized closet, with one of those hanging organizers that look good, but take up more space than they are useful for.  and realized that i could "turn over" my Thrifty wardrobe every month if i wanted.  so i didn't feel like i needed to have EVERYTHING in the store…just in case.  but i started to get more stuff…bringing it from an upstairs dresser…socks, yoga clothes…bras…y'all - i would like to think that i still yoga, but i don't.  and i have but 2 feet under my ankles, so don't need eleventy five pairs of socks.  i need 5 pair, plus slipper socks.  and i have those.  i don't NEED anything more in any category (unless dog trainer is one of the categories, because Henry has had just enough of winter and has begun to eat the house).
hello - are you still there?  Cause I can go long, i know.  i apologize.
There was an early group of Tiny house owners who went mondo extremo, with living just a shade on the McDonald's side of survivalist.  then the young urbans took to it like a duckless duck to Dasani.  and soon a Tiny culture was born.  there was a quiet sector of folks who just wanted good, cheap housing, and didn't want their stuff to own them.  soon the cost of a Tiny began to creep up.  In the beginning, $19K was reasonable to expect.  now, $60, 70, 100K can be found.  if i had that, i would have a regular house.  in my area, you can still get a condo-style place for $45K in a very good neighborhood.  or a 6-bedroom house in a cruddy/scary neighborhood. just sayin.  meanwhile, many of those early-on folks are shucking their Tiny homes.  Too tiny, they say.  hard to live with another person in such a small place.  too much work to do the simplest thing - like get water from a tap or wherever.  living a life THAT simple is not what we expected, say others.  Yes - it seems very idealistic and good and kinda fun…till the toilet stops working, or till the water freezes and you are desperate for coffee and the nearest Starbucks is too far.  and they are bailing.  i don't fault them in the least, and i don't have a neener neener attitude.  i give them huge props for dreaming it and living it.  you can change your mind, folks!  you can.  but to not try…there's the shame.
and i use this information to overlay my own experiences and general needs/wants/make up/boundaries, to see if i might be able to save some time and not go the Tiny route for a home, but instead keep it tiny for my lifestyle.
and i think i can live in a Small house/cottage/whatever, but not a Tiny-on-wheels.  i need y-o-u, my friend, to come for dinner with 8-10 other fabulous people.  i need you there in the winter, inside, watching movies with hot cocoa or cold wine.  i need my house to be a gathering place for friends.  it is a requirement for my life, in every sense of that phrase.  and that cannot be done in a Tiny-on-wheels.  i tried manipulating the plans every which way, but it just won't work in a comfortable way.  such a problem that i have a few friends!
so that's where i've been.  feeling uncomfortable because i have too much stuff.  not even a year ago could i have imagined that thought.
i'm going to just say goodbye quickly now, because Henry is barfing who-knows-what.  it has been a long winter, my friends.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

stay with me…i've been working many many hours, and sleeping erratically, so it's to your benefit that i haven't posted…but coming up this weekend, which is only 1 day away….i will.
And will hopefully have more news about an inquiry to appear maybe possibly on Tiny House Hunters show!