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, June 18, 2016

I'll leave you with this...

after many false starts and stops, and thinking I'll take a blog break - but then not, and instead just ignoring this space….I am truly done here.  I am finding life again…folding myself into the community of women I've gathered and embraced near and far…all warts and beauty showing…all of us accepting and nurturing without being overwhelming….without needing to live one another's lives…feeling joy at each other's accomplishments - as if they were our own…uplifting, and allowing others to uplift when needed…reaching outward to gather more into the open circle…i have found my life, once again.  It isn't always pretty or easy or looking glossy like a magazine, but it is wondrous…i accept the challenges that come with deep lessons, and the intense wisdom & peace that comes after the learning.  I have found my life and my counterparts and my sense of rightness once again, and i've found a community to express it with and to share it with.  and it is with this groundedness and peace, i wish you good companionship, good food, the knowledge to accept that a beautiful gift is sometimes disguised as a roadblock, and happiness is always always deep within your Self.
Thank you for joining me on this journey for the past so-many years.  I will leave this journal open, but will not be tending it….rather, letting the wildflowers grow where they will.
Peace to you.  Above all, peacefulness.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

and i don't say this to elicit pity or throw shame or shade.  just sort of typing along with my head and heart, and hoping my words will keep up.  because little by little, i'm losing my words.  which, truth be told - is the reason i left radio.  mostly.  that's an occupation that requires words.  and when you look at a potato and can't remember potato, then it's time to get a gig that isn't based 100% on talking.  using words.
but aside from that, it has been a coney island roller coaster ride over here.  on one hand, things are settled, and my life is mine to steer, and i'm excited about the different ways i can shape the path.  on the other, i have never felt so alone and forgotten.  (see - that's the part where you might think Pity Party.  but don't).  i am an extroverted introvert…i love to be around other people - lots of them - as long as nothing is required of me socially.  which, again, is at odds with the whole Gathering nature of my soul.  sort of.  there is such a shift within right now, and it's difficult to be dependable.  and difficult to make a decision on something that may be in the future - like sometimes an hour in the future.  i've tried to loosen up my calendar somewhat - tried to not fill every crack and crevice with activity and gathering or going.  i tried to plan just One Thing for a weekend.  that was this weekend.  just one thing.  and when that one thing fizzled and cancelled, it became a slippery slope for my emotional skis. I don't know yet if there's a lesson in this.  i hope so, because it was indeed a difficult weekend.  The sudden passing last week of a person dear to me made the days even harder.  There are entire days that go by when my only conversations are with a 4-legged person.  i need companionship of the 2-legged sort.  a sisterhood to play with.
this is so uplifting, eh?  my apologies.  but i've always been honest here - never put lipstick on a pig…always let the burned side of the pancake show.  I must say it has been eye-opening, and a big disappointment to see the truth of some hearts close to me.  perhaps the lesson is in becoming more self-sufficient - to not rely on others for the support i should be giving myself?  the danger is always that a wall is built.  and i am an excellent emotional mason.  no one can build a stronger, taller wall than me, i dare say.
so i'll spend some time away from anything electronic, and sort this tangle out.  share your wisdom with me.

Monday, March 28, 2016

not bad

twice in a month - not bad.  i love the freedom i've given myself to come here when i want, rather than feeling like i should.  
so. here's what i'm busy with…though i don't feel busy.  i feel rather like i'm wasting this gift of life…like i ShOuLd be doing something…moving forward…shedding skin, Becoming once again.  yes, it's spring, but so far there's been just one day of spring-like weather…tonight the wind whips and the rain torrents down the roof.  Henry will try to hold out as long as possible before absolutely needing to go out.  I try to train him to use the potty pads in the downstairs (unused) shower stall, but he has his pride.
so.  how am i doing?  much better, thank you.  i have moments of fear and moments of sadness and moments of flashing anger.  but nothing like the blinding fear/depression/rage i felt during the past 2 years.  things have settled, and now it's time to decide where to land - stay or go…here or there…i have a new job that i enjoy, and Henry, and a too-big house.  i have days where i spend too much time on social media to feel like i'm connecting with other humans, and days where i spend a lot of time connecting with other humans.
but my passion has been stirred.  it's a long route through a fertile land - i am working at this new job because it let's me out at 2pm so i can take classes and also work at my organizing business. I am writing a grant to raise money to create a teaching kitchen…this is a very long story (even for me).  But I want to have a place where the underserved can come and learn how to read a recipe and cook nutritious and inexpensive food - a la Good And Cheap cookbook.  I want the participants to leave with a grocery bag filled with those same ingredients and a copy of the recipe.  I want the kitchen to be available for those who don't have working appliances - they can come and cook their meals for the week and freeze them.  i want Food Banks and farmers to bring their overages to us.  there is no shortage of food - only a distribution issue. i know this to be a fact.  i want this kitchen to be located in the same area where participants can walk to it…transportation is not easy.
on a personal level…i am done being too nice.  it has gotten me only resentment and a circus to clean up after.  this week, i've taken a stand against two bullies, and let's see how the world spins.  i am naturally a gentle and non-confrontational person.  these traits have been misconstrued as being a pushover.  i suspect the issue has been straightened out.
i'm sorry for the ramble - sleep was far from my eyes last night, and my boss decided today would be a great day to train on some complex tasks….so it's all i can do to keep my eyes open (since 3pm).  i should just step away from the computer right now, and finish this when i make more sense……

how are you?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

brave enough

You go on by doing the best you can. You go on by being generous. You go on by being true. You go on by offering comfort to others who can't go on. You go on by allowing the unbearable days to pass and by allowing the pleasure in other days. You go on by finding a channel for your love, and another for your rage.
- Cheryl Strayed,  "Brave Enough"

Sunday, February 28, 2016

In the past year or two, when all my safety nets dry-rotted or burned or were swiped out from under me, it became more clear that there are hundreds of households in need.  secretly.  some you'd never think of.
in this election year, there are talks of "mandates" and unfunded mandates" - rules and laws that have been implemented on a state government level that locals MUST follow - but the state provides no help in funding for them.
Well, on a truly local level, (say, in a household), there are plenty of unfunded mandates…and depending on your socioeconomic strata, those can be anything from a new SubZero wine chiller to a hotdog for your kid's dinner.  no judgement.  truly.  we all have a different reality, and that's no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed.  neither is it an excuse not to help.  from either end of the spectrum.
In my mind, the answers are quite simple, and quite easily achieved.  inexpensively and without hootananny.  as long as everyone along the chain of helping is truly on board for the right reasons, and not for a public accolade or some sort of medal.

In Jeopardy format, the answer is this:  take a vacant building in an urban area that has a high density of underfunded household mandates (mandates such as feeding children healthy food).  Turn that vacant building into a teaching kitchen where mothers, daughters, men, women, whoevah can come and learn how to cook a healthy & nutritious & inexpensive recipe.  Then leave with those ingredients in a nice shopping bag.  Not a box. (do you leave your grocery store with a box? how easy is that to carry when you have a toddler and are really pregnant, for example?) The kitchen would be outfitted with typical household appliances…stoves and ovens and refrigerators that most households would have (except all burners would work).
I became inspired by the cookbook, and story behind the cookbook, Good And Cheap - how to eat well on $4 a day."   by Leeanne Brown. This hyperlink takes you to her website.  She is an amazing person.  I heard her interview on NPR and had to own the cookbook.  The average Food Stamp/SNAP recipient gets $29/week.  (Try that budget on if you want to scream unfunded mandates.  But it is what it is.)  For every cookbook purchased, if you contact her, she will donate a case of them to a local Food Pantry.  I had mine sent to the Salvation Army Emergency Services.

And this is where it gets so tasty.  I started wondering if people would read and use the cookbooks.  and i wondered if there were people who wanted to but couldn't learn by reading - they needed to be shown.
I want to have cooking workshops in that no longer vacant building.  the food workshops would use her cookbook as a basis for the recipes taught.

See, I came into some knowledge at a chance meeting at my hairdresser recently.  My original plan was for an indoor farm, if you will, a community-worked garden that would supply food for the workshops, and act as a co-op of sorts.  During this chance conversation, plus another random brain-dropping that came my way the day before, it is obvious that there isn't a problem of food shortage - it's a distribution issue.  there is at least one local farm that will load your car with whatever you need - but you need to get there to receive it.  The underfunded mandate homes usually travel by public transportation, making that unavailable.
So the vision shifts.  Not a failure of the vision - it is working perfectly and exactly the way it needs to in order to serve the people it was intended to in the way they need the service.  (it would be as ludicrous as giving canned goods to a homeless person - i mean how do you seriously think they will open the can and cook the contents?) so the underfunded mandate households may love fresh veggies, just like you and I, but the SNAP budget doesn't allow for much of it, and there is no transportation to the farm that's giving it away.  Problem easily solved if you step back and soften your eyes and not have an agenda to tick boxes off from.
I'm sorry of this sounds political.  it is absolutely not.  in fact, all of this is absolutely best done through private sector folks…through grants and good people…through the wallets of good people with great hearts and many funded mandates already in their households.
My vision is clear for this… the core principals, and the program offerings.  My head is finally in a place where i can allow for help and listen for great good suggestions and knowledge, and to work as a team.  my life is in a place where i have more of a depth of understanding.  i am crafting my day-to-day to allow for the time for the vision to explode into reality.
i don't have much time to make this happen.  and i feel like it will be my last Big Thing.  maybe not, but we'll see.  it will succeed, through me or through my original vision.  it absolutely has to. It is alive.
If it's got to be, then it's up to me.  I'm on a quest to do my best.
(That's a quote from Iannuzzo's Black Belt Academy.  I stole it here.)

In Jeopardy format, the question is: What is my legacy to be? What is my passion to leave behind?  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

it seems i come here for comfort, or to work things out, or to share an amazing moment…but never to say "Eh - life is rolling along in a typical & usual fashion."  and that's okay, because who would want to read about someone's ordinary day…day after day?
so the past weekend was Valentine's Day, and it got me thinking about the deep bonds we share…how you can know someone for 3 full days and 2 half days, and they become grafted to your very heart & soul, but there are others that never seem to find that slice to grab onto, no matter how long you've known them.  (NOTE: I write these thoughts as generalities).
I live alone, with Henry of course, but as a human - alone.  I work in a communication field, but sit alone in a studio.  so by the time the evening rolls around, i need deep human contact.  and by the weekend? all bets are off - i'll marry you just to have a backsplash for my words.  I know this about myself - i crave…i need…human companionship.  which is why i am The Gatherer.  and also knowing this about myself makes me cautious about giving my heart away too quickly, or too deeply…knowing that sometimes the need to not be alone will cloud the intention of the offerer.  Male & female.  i have been a member of a group of women who also need the companionship of people, but who weren't looking for a graft - just a pulse and a willingness to ski or dine or go to a movie.  which is fine, but (for me) just feels cheap after a while.  i've been in BFF friendships that soon encompass and drown a heart…i cannot be responsible enough to be your everything every moment.  no one can.  get a counselor.  and to be fair, the line is thin sometimes between "a friend in need" and " a friend in CONSTANT need."  I have 1 friend that seems to take comfort in her role as comforter, and no matter what the conversation, she will find a spot that's a little grey and pick at it till you find yourself drowning in your troubles.  no!  so this long ramble is about friendship, and boundaries, i suppose.  if you're reading this, we are probably friends on some level…maybe warm acquaintances, maybe besties that talk often and freely and equally footed.  but sunday, something clicked into place, and i realized that there are things i must do for myself, and living situations that are a good choice for me…and hearts that are best enjoyed from afar and only on occasion.  the effort was never equal the return, and that's my new yardstick…i mean, if i don't have your address (email or otherwise) after 6 months…perhaps neither one of us cares all that much.  let's stay friends, but i am not going to be pouring the effort out as i have in the past.  i can't.  my tank of effort is draining.  which brings me to some other news, and i hate to be a bitch, but i have to continue this another time - this weekend, i'm thinking.  i am filling in for someone on vacation, and we are in the midst of a snow/ice/snow event, so i am just too exhausted.  my body can't do the fulltime like it used to.  and even if it was running like a top, these days would be killer anyway.  so forgive me, but we'll talk soon….have a golden day!

Monday, February 01, 2016

some days you feel absolutely and irretrievably broken inside…your very Self is leaking out with the tears that stream down your face…there is little you can do but sit on the floor and let the Reel Of Horrors play through your head as you moan.  that's the best i can describe it without sending you to the floor.  yet.  yet.  yet. somewhere in the midst of all this mess, you realize that there will come a clarity…that whatever has caused this emotional and wet outburst needed to be heard…needed OUT.  and it was bursting it's way through the busy-ness and calendar events and dodges and weaves that would make a Harlem Globetrotter proud.  somewhere in the mess of prostrate grief, there would come a clarity about something(s) that needed a closer look…a single tear magnifier. after the dog has been walked an inch shorter, and the carpets vacuumed completely up and silver gleams like a laser and wood floors have taken themselves up and run back to the forest in fear - sometime just after that, when you pause for a moment to catch your breath in the post-cleansing cleaning, it sneaks up around to the corner of your eye…you see it - that Thing that needed to be heard…that monster that created the great heaving sobs…and you see it's just a wounded little fluffy thing that needed healing…a Realization of being wronged or of being wrong…or of facing a Big Scary that really isn't so bad, after all.
I welcome the clarity…and i promise to listen to my heart a bit better, so as to avoid the drama.

Friday, January 29, 2016

i don't read self-help books.  i don't read books that purport to tell me how to live my life better.  why? because they begin with the premise that i am somehow broken…or less than…or that the author knows the key to how i should be living and where i should place my next steps.  I am not broken.  i am exactly in the exact place i should be with exactly the right tools and body shape and skill set and financial set-up and creativity and all that i need to do the job i need to do - whether i know what that job is or not.  i don't need to try to be my best self, or any other self.  i just need to be.  and i need to not focus on what i perceive to be the "wrongs" about me, or even the "rights," i just need to be.  and go about my day and my business and be sensitive for moments when i can make a difference and make a change for someone else's life…holding the door, buying coffee for the next in line, whatever whatever…small or large.  but if i'm too busy improving on something that was already just right for the job, i'll miss that opportunity, and the time will pass.  if i'm too busy trying to be what i feel i should be, rather than exactly what i am, then an Important Moment could pass.  and i hate when that happens.
i am not broken.  you are not broken.
are there things i wish were different about myself?  yes.  i wish i could dance, for instance.  but holding a beat with my feet is apparently not something i need for my journey.  or just maybe, NOT having that skill is exactly right for my journey.  who knows?  but i don't feel less than because of it.  and if i flail and fling myself around a dance floor to the un-beat, well you have my permission to laugh, because laughing is awesome, and i already know i can't dance!
but back to the point.  just be you.  enjoy your Self as much as I enjoy you.  whether you are having a bad day/week/month/year, or an exceptionally good one…come to the world with what you have.  it's exactly right.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

we are the walking wounded.  yet not.
we bear the stripes of our Grief around our hearts.  we have chosen to lie back in the pool of Grief and backfloat, knowing it was the Only Way…covering ourselves in it's thick blanket, because it is all we have...  Honoring our Grief while despising it…bringing forth a sulfur of hatred for the reasons of it, yet knowing deep down that there would come a place of Gratitude for it…feeling the hopelessness of it, knowing the reasons for it were beyond our control…knowing we surely were not the first to feel these feelings, yet having certainty that our response in our heart and body and mind was ours alone…that in nurturing and experiencing our Grief to the fullest gives honor to the Love and fierceness of the ties we held with our beloved.  We aren't broken - we are strengthened, though in the annealing* process, there are times when it might be easier to just meld with the fire and be lost.  but we don't.  we learn to honor ourselves, as well…to not be afraid to tuck in and be silent…to reach out and be with others if needed…to not be afraid of our tears showing…to accept hugs and accept that others may feel awkward, and allowing them that - their lesson to learn…to stand tall some days and be able to smile, but to stay curled in a ball in bed other days…behind our eyes, so much has changed…we define things differently…we see folly and blessing in a more sharp focus…we feel humbled and grateful for things that previously would have passed our notice…we step up and say things we might have held back from before You Are So Lovely, You Make Me So Happy, You Are A Blessing To The World…we say these things without the care of what others might think, because we realize it may be the last chance to say them and these words are important to say…we say them because we realize that anyone of us can be walking with a strap around their heart, and it may be just the thing that helps them float again…the voyage doesn't end, you know…the water gets more shallow at times, more clear at other times, then gets deep and choppy again…Grief has grafted itself to our hearts - it is now a part of who we are forever…how we use that grief is what defines us…whether we look back at all that has slipped from our grasp and think It Will Never Be Good Again, or be grateful for the lesson that has taught us an even deeper compassion and taken us even deeper into Becoming - the choice is entirely ours…it is our experience and outcome to decide.  I am humbled to think that i was given the opportunity to become more than i was…that even as every safety net burned below my feet, i said Thank You…because the small part of grief that had grafted to my heart before - woke up - and reminded me that i had lived this before and made it through, and so i would again…that tiny voice helped me be thankful through some of the worst and scariest and nastiest bits of life to date.
we are the walking wounded, yet not - we have chosen to claim our Grief and accept it and use it as we stand and go forward, even as we would use a great good blessing.
i ask for Grace and time of ease for a while, and know it's time to put the lessons to task…and i hold your hand as you float, lest you forget i am here with you.

*heat (metal or glass) and allow it to cool slowly, in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

i have an exhausting list of things to accomplish…things i want to do, things i need to do, things i should do…i slept in a bit today, let Hen out very briefly (it's tingly cold out), then brought a mug of coffee back to bed where Hen & I snuggled and I read for a while.  It was a perfect morning.  I eventually got up and cleaned the house.  oh - the Stuff list.  it's hard to nail down what direction to go in - but it is crunch time.  do i want to disassemble my studio and make yet another office/guest room?  who are all these people i expect to stay over?? do i want to clear away much of my studio, then re-do as needed?  do i want to stay put, move someplace warmer, oy oy oy.  i need to point in one direction and Head There.  what i am asking for, no matter what, is a tribe.  a group of women to feel very comfortable with…to laugh with and share with and go on trips with.  a tribe of women to cook with and sit around campfires with…deep, binding hearts…connections that go deep and stay strong.  not just friends…but tribe members.  i get it now.  I am So Grateful for the women friends i have…i owe so much to them.  and i want to fold them into this tribe.  to me, a tribe is more than a group of women who do things together.  a tribe sustains one another.  they aren't afraid to go deep, when it's called for, but going deep is not an essential element to every gathering.  a tribe is a group of SisterFriends.  women to call on a moments notice to go see a movie or grab a dinner somewhere or the like.  i have many deep friendships in the area, but so many of the women have kid's activities on weekends, or other family obligations.  most of my life, i've had to work weekends, so that time together hasn't really meant much.  now it does. so that's my thing right now - a tribe.  in other areas of life for me - it's all so god! i passed my Computer final with a 97, and moving onward and awaiting some answers from financial aid to see what will happen with my choices.  fingers crossed.
my best thoughts for friends in the path of the storm this weekend.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Did i mention I bought a Powerball ticket?  and that we also played at work?  did i mention that?  well, no matter - i didn't win.  but, yeah, i kinda did - see, in an off moment from time-to-time (not full time daydreaming) but once in a wispy moment, like just before the sandman comes tip toeing up the bridge of your nose and dusts your eyes with sweet dreams and snores…at those times, i thought about what i would do if i won.  and so i became a winner.  in a different sense.  no cash value - so don't start calling. i won because i was able to refine my priorities, my wants, my needs, my goals and my wildest dreams.  the Big What Ifs took form.  and since there was no cash value attached, when all was said and done, i am now able to set my foot in the direction of some of those dreams.  modified, of course.  but no doubt as heartfelt. And i realized that it doesn't need to be This OR That - it can be both.  Or all. I didn't have to put things on hold while I accomplished one personal goal…it could be about working toward that goal (education) AND getting some Magic done elsewhere down the street.

so as last year ended with gratitude for things lost, this year begins with gratitude for things never gotten in the first place!

i still have the goals and directions, but without all the entangling tax headaches! Adventure On, as my friend Wendy Ellertson says, Adventure On!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wait - what??

Did I mention that I am wont to change my mind with the spin of a hat? Did I mention that sometimes I need this space like I need a companion? No? I must have forgotten to mention that. In the exhaustion that was last year, I was probably thinking "oh, one less thing." Which it was. But the wrong thing to let go of. I can think of at least 6 other things that should make the cut before this.
And so, where were we? Oh right. But first - happy new year to you! I hope it's started out well. I know of no less than a few who have spent new year's first days saying goodbye to beloveds...in one way or another. This has been such a strange few weeks.  In a gentle and unobtrusive way, Big Thoughts have crept into my craw and started a ramble...like the tumbling of semi-precious stones in a dime store rock polisher...old thoughts, new thoughts, half-formed thoughts all rolling around to be ground down to smooth edges, or polished fine as fire.
Old thoughts: I have a deep dark secret confession to make. I have always felt a little Less Than because I didn't finish my degree. Well, sort of didn't. I have an AAS, but never continued on to a Masters degree like I had wanted. It seems there has always been someone under my care since my dad passed away in 1977, and there was either no time, or no money to carve out the task. My ideas and interests have gone all around the board, so when I did have the time and money at the same time, indecision was my enemy.  In conversation with a friend recently, it was pointed out that I had started 2 companies from thin air, run them successfully, then moved on of my own decision.  I had taught myself marketing, copywriting, business plan making, built my own website, and on & on.  With instinct. And no degree. Yes but...
So why does the piece of paper mean so much to me? And is it the paper, or the title, or the actual education that I am wishing for? I think at this stage of my life, I crave learning. And there are some gaps I need to fill in order to be successful in the time ahead.  My original plan was to get certified as a medical coder - a good plan...a portable career, and one I could do from a home office as a solo subcontractor. I watched and listened as my coworker studied and tested and wrote papers and went through the past 2 years of the course. I began saving and began a GoFundMe campaign. I can see that it will be a while before that plan takes root, and in the meantime, I needed to have something to keep myself busy & engaged with the outside world. So I started YourGreatSpace, an organization business. I love seeing the difference a clear and workable space makes in people's lives. It has been an exhausting few weeks as I got kicked by a bug and laid low.  The holidays took over. Now...now it is time to grab morning by the biscuits and get a groove on. Now it's time to start the promotion and marketing. I'm exhausted with the thought of it, but thrilled and grateful for the opportunity.  My goals for the year are simple:
More magic
More reverence
Super Deluxe
I want this year to kick the ass of the best year I've ever had. I want this year to end with a slide into home plate, hair on fire and a huge grin, saying what the hell! It was great! I want 2016 to be the best of all bests...not a year to sit limply by and make gentle excuses for whatever...I want it to be a damn screaming Mimi of a year with fun and giving and philanthropy and good friends and travel and at least one good solid companion. Male or female. A companion to share this about-to-be even more fabulous life with...not romantic- just someone to look at and say Did You See THAT??? I have spent too many years being gentle with myself and sitting quietly and tiptoeing around others. I want this to be the year of bold progress and letting go and giving up and grabbing the good greatness of YES. Damn skippy.
And so, I am back here. Randomly, no doubt. But I have a feeling somewhat often, as the tumblers tumble, and a great polished gem or two spits out.