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.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

word house

What You Speak
Becomes The House
You Live In.

Having been gifted a mondo huge-o box (i mean HUGE) of Chartpak rub-on lettering in every size and font ever invented, I realized it was a fantastic opportunity to put my favorite quotes on my walls.  so this morning, i continued to look through my book of Hafiz, rather than watch the next episode of Unbreakable on Netflix, as has become my habit.

I found the quote above, and it struck a chord.  it shall go on my wall by the front door.

I've been reading "Silence" by Thich Nhat Hanh, and this morning, he was talking about how our mind wanders and that leads to fears and unkind thoughts.  and i realized how true that was in my monkey mind.  so Henry & I headed out for a walk…without the cell phone *gasp* and without anything other than each other.as i got to my favorite part of the woods, i took in a deep breath of cool pine air, and let my mind wander as usual.  An owl suddenly flew across the path ahead of us, startling me back to the present moment.  and i realized i was not able to enjoy the Present Moment, because my mind was wandering away from it.  Hanh says to let you breath bring your mind back to the present, so i took another breath and stood for a moment looking at all the different textures of tree bark and hearing the cicadas and birds.  and then started walking again, but this time i was walking in that moment…how much more peaceful.  
years ago, before cameras in phones, and digital anything, i saw a cartoon that brings it all home.  a man and his wife are at a cocktail party, talking to another couple.  He has a white streak across his face, but is otherwise tanned.  The other man asks how their vacation was, and the tanned man replies "I'm not sure - I have to wait for my pictures to come back from the lab."  The white streak is obviously where he had held his camera up so much that it blocked the sun.  i realized how much we self-document…it's startling, really.  we send so much time with our heads bent over a phone, texting, or taking selfies or pictures of where we are, what we are eating, etc., and never spend time in the moment…experiencing all that the moment has.  Those moments smoosh together to form our path, our journey…are we missing out?  When i travel, i like to eat the local food, and see what the locals treasure, not necessarily the tourist view.  I take very few pictures, because there never seems to be a way to capture the essence of the moment.  maybe it's the fault of the person behind the camera! either way, i find that i enjoy so much more if i'm not worried about getting enough pictures.  and when you think about it - how many times do you actually go back and look at them?  it's the memory of the time spent that you treasure.
as usual i took a winding path to get here.  my lesson lately has been to live fully in the moment.  and it sounds easy, but for someone who has spent the past 30 years being hyper-prepared, it is not as easy as it sounds - my mind constantly does a time check, and a what-if check, and a what's-the-worst-that-could-happen check, then starts running down a list of things to do …in case.  it has made me an excellent producer in the radio/tv world, and event planning, but in an everyday life it becomes burdensome.  so a deep breath in, and a smile, and a moment in the moment.
Wishing you a simple moment of peacefulness today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

happy in a Pharrell kinda way

I was talking to my neighbor, as we power walked for 75 minutes last night (mostly because we were lost)…and we were planning the annual neighborhood block party.  she mentioned how the dynamics of the neighborhood have changed, with one family moving, and another adding children and how it all still feels like a family.  and she was right.  we have the very best neighborhood - depending on each other for things big and small…having been a stable neighborhood for so many years, we entrust one another with garage door codes and babysitting and "just go in the house & open the fridge" borrowing.  a neighbor is just as likely to come home and find their lawn mowed, or dinner in their fridge, as they are to find an invite to a spur-of-the-moment gazebo party (at my house!)
i am so happy here.  and having a solid root system has helped me regain what i lost in the past years.  i truly am happy.  yes, there are moments of utter frustration and sadness, but my baseline is "happy."  i have a lot of unknowns to look forward to, like meeting my future ex-husband, or who knows what!  I'm good with setting limits, but without constructing a wall to go with those limits.  i feel like i can love freely - whether that love is as a deep friendship, or a serious relationship, or a puppy snuggle.  NOTE: not looking for #2 or any more #3's.  i don't feel the need to spend hours trying to figure myself out, or any such thing - right now, it's not about resting my spirit, it's about moving forward from the place i've been resting for far too long.  and making my own choices about…everything.  good or bad, easy or hard…the choices are mine, because there is no one else.  truth be told, there never was anyone else to make the deep decisions, and i think i was expecting way too much from a mere mortal :)  It was a good excuse for staying stuck.  and now, i need my feet to move.  to make a plan and a budget and live as full and wonderful as i can.  for that is my purpose.

Monday, July 20, 2015

dead…yet alive

the weekend was wasted.  mostly, but not all.  saturday was a joy - movie & dinner and too much shopping with a neighborfriend.  we were like 2 canaries let out of the cage.  poor Henry had to wait alone for The Longest Wait Ever since he moved here.
sunday, i mostly did nothing…i just stayed in bed till i HAD to get up, ran some very quick errands and went back to snooze on the couch.  what the heck?? i've been feeling like there's this great Before And After chasm.  you know what i mean.  and that things After should be easy and wonderful, that my Grand Purpose will appear and be fulfilled.  but that won't happen on the couch, eh?  and i got this wonderful email from Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch - who is always tapped in to my heart, it seems - and it said the exact words below, and i realized that it truly is time to Live The Dream…to put IT into action…to move forward with what i've known should be my purpose.  I have a strong assurance that there is a woman coming to me to help.  I have peace in my heart and perhaps am being too hard on myself for resting a day…there's just so much to do, to enjoy, to experience…to fly like a canary.  and now to Trish's words:

I died to the person I was
This is the story I am telling….
How alive am I, today?
How full
is my

Monday, July 13, 2015

I have no words.  Talk amongst yourselves.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Given a choice between the two, I'd rather be sad than lonely. Luckily, I have many more choices! And I choose happy. And fulfilled. And cuddling with Henry, spending beach days with some great friends. And I'm grateful for learning "lonely" ... Grateful to friends that call me, and that I call, to check in...grateful that I have the opportunity to know that it only takes a minute for a mood to go south..or grabbing "his" favorite whatever at the grocery store, then realizing he isn't there to eat it any longer.  And having someone to call as you choke on tears in the fresh fish department.  And knowing that they know they can call me from wherever, whenever, if something triggers the knowledge that choosing is something that needs to be done...that "happy" is never to be taken for granted.  And neither are good friends.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

being strong does not mean denying your emotions.  being strong does not mean ignoring your fears.  being strong does not mean you have uncertainty.  being strong is knowing that there may be moments when your hands shake, and a cold trickle of sweat tickles down your back and all you want to do is curl up in bed - but you don't.  you look the task at hand straight in the face and say "YOU deal with THIS."  booyah. (the booyah can be extra).
Yesterday, I found an owl feather along the woodspath - with all the owls in my woods, i have never found a feather from one.  and a huge & perfect feather, at that!  This morning, i sat in the morning's dewey stillness, with a mug of steaming coffee in my cupped hands, breathing in the cool air.  In front of me, an owl - silent and focused - swooped down upon an unsuspecting mouse, and without losing pace, flew back to his tree to eat his breakfast.  the owl…what about the owl rang clear and true to me?  I always know when there's an owl perched nearby - the smaller birds make a ruckus…alerting other birds to run.  they swoop at him, and generally pull in the welcome mat.  but the owl sits calmly and stays focused.  calm and focused.  an owl's eyes are fixed - they can't look to the right or left, up or down.  they must turn their entire head in order to change their view.  calmly fixed and focused.  eye on the prize.  knowing fully that the prize will be theirs…or another will come along.  either way, i've never seen a starving owl! despite all the clanging and disturbance and chaos and ruckus and DISTRACTION - fixed and focused.  eye on the prize.
a friend is going through some Nasty Bits, and we chatted over cheesecake.  I assured her she could do this thing, because after all - I did.
"But you're so strong," she said.
I've never thought of myself as being strong or brave or anything exceptional.  Never considered that i would actually finish the race.  i am stubborn, a trait my mother reminded me of constantly when i was growing up.  stubborn is not the bad thing she thought, though.  stubborn meant holding my ground and doing things my own way.  never quite fitting in - the odd fish out, as i wasn't going with the flow. yes -  i literally ran with scissors.  and had to stand in the kindergarten corner.  i have a picture of myself when i was a little girl, wearing my favorite pleated plaid skirt - backwards.  My mother wrote on the back "She was a stubborn girl today and wore her skirt backwards."  what my little brain couldn't express was that there was a metal buckle that hit my little chair right at the small of my back and it HURT.  so i solved the problem and turned the skirt around.
where am i wandering to with all this?  who knows.  but it feels good to feel enough to wander again. to not be afraid to poke in the corners and clear out the dust motes.
again, i am grateful for some of the Trailing Nasty Bits in my own life.  it isn't being strong or brave that continues in my heart.  it's a certainty that it won't kill me.  and if that's true, then i can still get back on my feet and walk to the finish line. I may rest a bit on the ground for a bit, though.  just go on ahead, i'll catch up.
husband (?) came over yesterday to box up some of his remainders to prepare for a moving van.  the days and times of the pack and of the move have both been an epic battle.  it has taken quite a bit out of me to have that kind of verbal violence and crush-em-at-all-costs-for-the-sport-of-it attitude back within my walls.  my body has responded in protest, triggering all sorts of pain and weakness.  but - and this is a big "BUT" - i was able to erase any any doubt from my mind as to whether or not this was a right choice…if maybe we should have tried harder.  and it refreshed within me how it feels to be put way way down.  i feel there is a Life Purpose in this for me…the Respite house need not be a multi-million dollar mansion and grounds - for now.  it might get there someday, but this may be Just Right.  and the road to get here was not as winding and convoluted as it felt, as i look back over my shoulder…it was exactly a straight line Point A to Point B and on.  so by receiving crap with a grateful heart, i am lessening the collateral damage within my body/mind/soul, and acknowledging on some level that i have arrived at the next Point where Something Truly Spectacular will happen.  It may take a bit, and it may look like Not Wonderful for a while, but stay grateful, knowing there is a purpose eventually.  and look back once in a while, with those eyes that are fixed on a prize…see where your perches have been, and the lessons and gifts they have garnered.  but continue ahead to Point B or C or D, as it may be in your flight.
i am ready to give a hand to lift another, as quickly or as slowly as they need the lift to be.  my home will soon be open to respite.  followed by flight.

bonus from my dearest Jonatha:

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Momma don't let your Cowboys grow up to be babies.
Today would have been my 15th wedding anniversary, and although the breakup was inevitable and a welcome relief to both parties involved, I never expected a nasty finish with bickering over what day desks will be picked up, and who is allowed in the house when. Really? Are we not adults, first and foremost? We have to continue on with our lives and hopefully not drag the junk of the past behind us. It is very difficult to do that when the other party is trampling on your zen. With cleats. The only solution is to lift my gaze and, like a bad dinner party, know that these moments will soon end.  Know that however badly the other person is behaving, that it's one of two root causes: either it's a power play - in which case, easy peasy...you don't engage in combat, simply continue as if all are in agreement and call the police if necessary. No game playing here. Or, the second possibility...the other person feels sad and bad and doesn't know any other way to express that, since this breakup was his doing. In either case, he's a tool. A Man would have respect for the other person AS A PERSON on this earth...no matter their past relationship.  I'm speaking only of myself, but using the confusing third party.  Sorry.  If there was physical abuse, there would only be one very clear answer...have the sheriff join you and you have 1 hour to move your crap out....now, GO. Verbal abuse and power plays are a bit trickier to negotiate, but no less destructive. I have given him the day to move, and even found him help to move the heavier things. Since that day would cut into his playtime and won't work, I will be moving the stuff to the garage, with said help, for pickup at a later date of my choosing.  That is my choice. There is more argue than stuff to argue about, and I won't have it. I will not.  This weekend, my house will become my home...my sanctuary.  It will be my space to decorate and worry about and host dinner parties and friends and struggle through all the physical maintenance. And hang art in.
Have a cupcake in my honor today, and I will toast your braveness...your day-to-day getting things done big and ordinary.

Monday, July 06, 2015

I've been feeling like a little slug lately in the mornings. My INTENTION was to rise & shine and go to the Y for some Aqua Fit fun, but before I can even open my eyes, I remember that I'd have to shave my legs and walk the dog and blah and blah and soforth... Next thing I know, it's too late to go. I am giving myself gentle space, without giving myself permission to squander these gorgeous mornings. Henry has been needing so much excersize too...he's getting roly poly. And snippy. I'm surrounded by animals that have no appreciation for their above-average standard of living.  My cat (actually Not My Cat) has begun pooping on the carpet in big stinky messes that the dog finds tasty. If you're grossed out by that, imagine having to clean it and smell it every single day. And Purrl knows better...he is just not getting the attention he got when my husband lived here. Ex Husband? Estranged husband? Whatever the title, tomorrow would've been our 15th anniversary. I will have a cupcake in that honor. Next weekend is his final-ish move out. I say "ish" because who knows what odds and ends will be left by accident to ambush me in a weak moment? I was still having some great weepy moments till things took a nasty turn last week. But back to me & the cat. Purrl is cozied  up next to me right now on the couch - a first ever.  Like he knows his days are numbered here. I hate the thought of taking him to the humane shelter. He is a good kitty, and deserves the very best home with lots of attention lavished upon him. And tuna once in a while but not too often.  But. I cannot be a slave to this house...these animals. There is a lot involved in maintenance, as it is.  And yes, a cat is no trouble -especially one with no claws and an easygoing personality. But my eyes itch constantly, and this misbehaving tells me he is deeply sad without someone to play with him. Which makes me feel guilty in my own house. Even worse, when my Nikki died, Purrl grieved deeply - sleeping on her blanket and coming to cuddle me. He stayed at the foot of the bed on Nikki's blankie for days, and followed me around the house. So now I feel worse trying to re-home him. But.  Ugh okay enough.  He'll probably walk into his new home (yet to be found) and be happier than happy.  Someone to play stair ball with him and brush him...he LoVeS the brush.
Enough ramble...time to start getting ready for work.  Pick one thing - and I absolve you from guilt from it...close your eyes...go!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

sometimes the loneliness leads to depression…but it's fewer and farther in between those times now…at first, i could barely make it through the day.  now, weeks go by without even realizing.  i am learning to be alone without being lonely - learning that i will be alone an evening, but the next day has activities and opportunities and obligations…like the little pup that's gently tapping his nose into my leg right now…"remember me??"  The loneliness no longer has an upper case "L" and it is certainly not the looming monster that will come to stay forever like a bad houseguest.  it is a moment's chance to catch my breath and sit with my thoughts and see what the next few steps are…a chance to still my monkey mind, and breathe purposefully.  But never ever go to WalMart on a saturday night.  no.  it's time to take Hen on his promised adventure - a new word he understands.  Be well, be gentle, be happy, and if you be lonely, call me...