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, August 29, 2015

Too many dots

on my phone calendar, when I add an event, it makes a dot on that day. I need only to tap that day's square to see what the dot represents.  If I have more than 1 event, then I have as many dots as there are things to do.  My calendar looks like it has chickenpox. Dot pox. Too much to do and no down time pox.  I wanted to go to an R&R retreat at Kripalu, but...no time. Seriously? So despite my abhorrence to rules, I am making one. Beginning 9/21 I will only plan 1 event per weekend. That will give me time to clear through events I've already booked. Just 1 planned event per weekend. Planned. That will allow time for cleaning, laundry and cooking. Cooking! It's soup and casserole and beefed up dinners time! A dinner party takes a good part of a weekend to pull off well...there's cleaning and shopping and chopping and cooking and setting a beautiful table.  I'm looking forward to having a monthly art-and-soup party, as well as a regular dinner.  So that's my plan, anyway.  The past few months have been a circus wheel of activity, and although it's been exhausting, I know the summer months come and go too quickly. Just the other day on our walk, the woods path was beginning to cover with leaves, and the pond is very quiet...no geese daring us to walk past their fluffy babes.  Those babes are now hard to tell apart from their mamas.  And they've all flown off.  I still open the windows for cool morning air, but the windows stay open well into the morning now, with no danger of letting in warm air.  In just a few short weeks, I'll be raking leaves. Pumpkins are already appearing in grocery displays and for sale. I love fall, but am sad to see summer wane.  It has been a good summer.  A mostly peaceful summer. And one of my favorites. Winter promises to be a good season this year, and I await its surprises. Henry is impatient for his walk, so off we go. Wishing you a good season today....

Friday, August 21, 2015

a mid-morning walk with Henry through my woods… there is a certain area that just smells so good - so earthy and woodsy…i stop every time and just take a deep breath.  and i realized that this is in the darkest part of the path…at night pitch black, even during a full moon.  At mid-morning, still mossy and damp and loamy.  It's actually the smell of downed trees returning to soil…and it struck me that in the darkest moment of life, there is a death of the things that no longer serve you…anything non-essential is stripped away…anything that no longer fits or is useful to you gets disregarded…situations that seemed bothersome and worth an argument moments before, now seem like a frivolous and ridiculous battle cry…in the darkest moment of your soul, if you stop. and take a breath. in all the musty, loaminess of things being broken down and seemingly destroyed - in that moment when you close your eyes and take a breath…may you smell the beautiful sweet smell of life anew breaking through the soil and moss, gentle as a fern…may you realize somewhere around your breaking heart - that darkness is necessary for a time…that the fire that destroys the forest makes it possible for a new forest to grow.  and may you have a henry to stop you while you listen and smell and realize in your heart.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

i have been busy like a honeybee in a hive…my sister-in-law is coming to stay for a bit, and that meant flipping the house,,,moving from my little nest downstairs, up to the new room.  that also meant moving my office to my studio.  which meant a total studio re-do, in order to make the perfect space for my desk, and the perfect gathering spaces in my studio.  my greatest gifts are my friends.  truly.  i am every day all the more grateful for friends near and far.  and it is my intention this fall & winter to have a once (or twice) a month art gathering with them…some artists, some not…but all willing to get sloppy in the paint.  my vision is: 6 of us gathered around the worktable gabbing and mucking in paint, while a pot of soup or a lasagna cooks away downstairs.  good friends, good food, fun art, hot chocolate, wine, whatever your pleasure.  I am so excited for it…introducing new and old friends.  i have learned that you need to curate gatherings…i have learned that all friends are excellent, but there are some combinations that work so much better than others, and a greater time will be had by all.  so that is what i'll do…mix the mingle.  i am so in love with the new arrangement of this space…i can finally face the big wall of windows while i work.  it was such a shame to have my back to them before.  it's been 15 years of living in this house and rearranging.  this feels perfect for now.
1 month from now, i'll be in the piney woods of New Hampshire…a place i never thought i'd be again. so much has changed this past year, and i feel as though my heart had become like a stone, and then was shattered open.  the bits and pieces have come together in a new and different way - much like my house - and it feels so fresh and new.  i am still under the protection of my pre-divorce settlement terms, and am grateful for these months to catch my breath and see what needs to happen in my new day-to-day.  i miss what once was.  i feel like we failed the process and one another - that we gave up when we could've made this life epic.  but, that's all water past.  to look back is to stumble on the present, and miss the future.
it's time to catch some sleep - Henry's flea medicine has given out and he's so miserable…so we've been awake for the past few nights.
good rest to you…..

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

walking Henry

today…early morning…smell of dawn in the woods…dew drops on leaves…mulchy smells…the pond tranquil, with just a few ripples from the gentle breeze…i notice my hand gripping Henry's leash.  i am already anticipating his recently acquired bad behavior when he spots another dog - lunging and barking and growling.  it has made our walks unrelaxing.  and my clenched hand is an obvious sign of that.  but he is a good boy, in general, and so peaceful and loving.  not sure why this has begun, but it started just before my husband moved out for good…was there something that happened in that last walk, off leash, in the woods? who knows.  but today, as we walked through this amazing gift of a place…the woods that heal my heart and stir creativity in my soul…today, i thought: what has ever happened that has been bad? he sees another dog, you pick him up and walk by, then continue.  easy peasy lemon squeezy.  so i stopped worrying about the "proper" way to walk a dog, and who's in front and all the Cesar Millan rules and such.  and. just. walked.  and somehow it got even more beautiful.  and of course, i translated that to everyday life.  holding the leash too tightly only makes you fixate on the thing you're clinging to…

in other news…you'd think i'd know it all by now, but au contraire.  the other day, my mom came to help me move my stuff from the downstairs bedroom, to the upstairs bedroom.  i'll be having a guest stay for a few months, and it's more private for them to take the lower 2 bedrooms and bathroom.  i had a baby girl tantrum.  it felt awful and weird.  and it wasn't until the next day, after i'd shut the downstairs bedroom door and stayed out, that i realized there was mildew in the room…i am very sensitive to mildew.  so it's a blessing to be moving upstairs.  i've been sleeping better up there, too.  but my eyes were so scratchy i wanted to gouge them out…and it made me cra cra, that mildew.  and tired. my recent torpor most likely caused by this insidious mildew.  so, culprit named, and soon i'll be away from it.  meanwhile, i've had to wash all the clothes that were down there.  not an easy job.

it is all so very good.

Saturday, August 08, 2015


I want to create space here in my home, and under my gazebo, for friends to gather…for the quiet to be peaceful in a group - not feeling like anything other than their presence is required…for the boisterous and gregarious to have their stories heard and respected…for all of them to gather at the same time, knowing that this is much more than a party - that it's a safe place for their heart.

more to come...

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

although i fully realize that MY life this past year pales in comparison to the year some of you have had…it is still my reality that it has been rough.  i am learning my weaknesses and shortcomings and failings and things that are downright ugly.  i am also learning strengths and my goodness and my ability to forgive and ask for forgiveness.  i am learning that 40 years is much too long to let a person or an incident have power over me.  as is 40 minutes.  or even 40 seconds.  i am learning that sometimes i can make a mistake (true!) and sometimes it's a biggie.  but i know my mistakes are not made with a malicious heart.  and i know that sometimes a mistake is not a mistake…it is a hard decision that had to be made, and wishing i could take it back won't help the situation or the future - it has to be what it became.
case in point: Purrl.  It was becoming more difficult to have him here - he was pooping on the rug every day at least once, and Henry found it delicious.  my house was a series of barricaded doorways to keep the dog out of this area or that area…my downstairs bathroom was actually a giant catbox.  and i'm not much of a cat person - being that i'm allergic.  Purrl mostly stayed to himself, but the pooping thing was too much.  i gave Perfect Stepdaughter (who is the actual momma to this cat) and exhusband 1 week to find a home for Purrl or one of them would need to get him to a shelter.  yesterday was the day.  and the whole shelter thing - i didn't believe either one of them would be that heartless.  ex said he was working on having a friend's daughter take him, and then came to pick Purrl up with all the various and sundry brushes, litter, food barrels, etc.  It was hideously and indescribably sad watching as Purrl panicked in the carrier, trying to get out, and Henry whined and circled the carrier.  Ex finally put it in the car and left.  i sobbed the whole way to work.  and in the baathroom once there.  But i knew Purrl would have a good home where he would get ALL the attention.  Later in the day, i got a text from Perfect Stepdaughter begging me to give her 1 more day to find a home for him…that her dad had told her that his person didn't pan out and that he was dropping the cat off with her.  I can't begin to tell you what began to wrench in my gut…Purrl wasn't a bad cat and deserved a VERY good home.  just not mine.  i suddenly looked around at the beautiful 4-bedrooms i have and felt very selfish.  i am still dealing with that.  i had called my mother sobbing like a child that i had a picture of Purrl scared and in a cage somewhere because of me. she tried to reassure me that i had made the right decision, but really (lightening bolt lesson) really what i needed was just space to grieve…someone to hold my tether while i drifted a bit.  letting someone cry copiously and blubber out their pain is difficult…to just stand and hold them in their grief. i am so so so grateful and blessed to have 3 people in my life who "get" that … who instinctively know how to let a person just grieve, and not have to calm them down or fix it or make them feel better…just let the balloon lose air.  as my mother spoke, i had to ask her to just stop…she was invalidating my grieving process…she was squashing a natural part of loving someone or something and losing that person (or animal).
and that was the lesson of the day.
this has been a year of epic sadness and grief for me.  not the worst, but right at the top of the list.  and this year has been do-able because i let myself feel the intensity of the good and the bad, and let myself learn the lessons that each had for me.
i look to God and say "okay, enough!" but suspect He has a few more tricks up His sleeve.  i need a rest, though, and i need my art to return to my hands.
my life has truly come full circle…back to the 90's, where my first husband passed away and i was alone trying to figure things out, with 1 dog and a fenced yard and working in radio at the very same job in the same company.
i will be on alert for neighbors bearing gifts and asking for dates this time around.
sorry for the ramble. please say a prayer for Purrl.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Last night, I held the past, the present, and the future in my hands.
Lately my mantra has been Live In The Moment, and I'm getting there...not racing ahead, not holding onto the past...just dancing on that edge of Nowness. But I now realize how important a look backward is...a chance to revisit, to make peace with those things that have clung to your ankle...the person who made you feel less than...the moments that haunt you at the strangest times.
What better place to do that then a 40th high school reunion? I never would have gone, but Ellen asked me to be her date, so how could I say no? As the hour approached, I remembered how much I hated these things (as if) and would've stayed home, but someone was counting on me to escort them.  I don't want to name names, because it isn't about the Who...more about the sudden realization that I am 40+ years past any hurts, slights, feelings of inadequacy, feeling like a square peg. And why I allow those things to remain a part of my history is beyond me...why I hadn't chopped the choking vine off my life quite some time ago is a mystery.  But by the time brunch was done on Sunday morning, I had a full sense of what belong in the past - to stay. All done without drama ... Just a gentle wingflutter and a reality settled in and a 40 year old ghost dissolved.
I will take the lesson along with me, but not carry the weight of the learning.
Wishing you empty baskets.