Saturday, May 31, 2008

Clean enough to be healthy......

Over at Bear Naked, there's a great post about dusting.

It made me think about the time when my daughter was little -- she had some friends that had big houses that always looked like they had just been finished by the decorator -- not a thing out of place -- and no real sign that any one really "lived" there

I definately had a more casual approach to cleaning -- the kitchen was clean, the house was clean enough to be healthy -- but I wanted to spend time with my kid -- doing messy art projects (shaving cream finger paint on the formica table top!), a trip to the library or a museum or a concert -- dust will always be there, children will not!

So, my house still is not a show piece, but it does look like we live here -- there is mohair fabric in the living room next to the tub full of teddy bears; there are little boxes of yarn next to the box of afghan squares and wool hats that have been knit for charity in the dining room; there are plastic shoe boxes full of beads stacked in the kitchen and a work tray of a bead project in the family room -- yup, it looks like the studio has exploded all over the house!

When I was talking to my daughter the other day, she was talking about her house -- her comment was "I clean when I can't find something" -- like mom, her kitchen is clean enough to eat out of -- but also like mom, she has "stuff" -- I'm so glad she found a great guy that doesn't get all upset about it (he has his own "stuff"!)

But there may be "cleaning" in the near future -- we just signed up for a community garage sale for next Saturday --- now where did I put that tennis racket and the box of books?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

shopping, the great speckled dog and learning to eat all over again

As I've been whining about the past week or so, I've been trying to walk every day

This is one of the liners from my old walking shoes (these babies are at least 8 years old, so cut me some slack here!)

So, after some discussion, we decided to go looking for new liners (I had bought a new pair of shoes about 4 years ago, and they always hurt my foot, so I was more interested in just making the old shoes better!)

Talk about sticker shock!!

A new pair of liners (which, by the way, I'm not even sure would fit in those old shoes) would have cost me at least $15, or as much as $20!!

So, here we are --- in the box a brand new pair of shoes -- for what it would have cost me to replace the liners!

Oh yeah, there are also new socks (let us say that my socks were in pretty sad shape, and there is no point getting blisters in my new shoes!)

And a new and healthy snack -- toasted edamame -- quite tasty actually

So off I went this morning in my new shoes, and while my feet (and knees!) felt fine afterwards, I could not manage as much distance this morning and came back feeling sort of discouraged -- not to mention panting like I'd been running for miles -- what the ????

I think I'm having some major allergy issues -- notice the white spots on the black dog?

Its COTTONWOOD!!! It is absolutely the worst I can ever remember -- it literally looks like its snowing

Ok, I'll hang in there and keep trying -- the cottonwood won't last forever

Meantime, I'm trying to learn to eat all over again.

I admit it, I'm one of those people that really enjoys eating (not to mention that is pretty much the one pleasure still available to me) -- and I like meat -- I do not think of a great meal as a plate that includes nothing but veggies -- and I'm going kicking and screaming in that direction

unfortunately, food is not like tobacco or alcohol where you can simply stop using it (well, ok, not simply, but you can stop)

Going to the grocery store has become a whole new field of land mines to negotiate.

I'm trying to be good, but I can't say I'm feeling good about it -- not yet anyway

(like the exercising -- how long does it take before you feel better anyway??)

And can someone tell me why every snack bar/protein bar type thing on the market has to taste SWEET!? Someone could make a fortune from me if they could make one that tasted like a bacon cheese burger, or a BLT with avacado

just saying.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thoughts about humiliation

I've decided that I need to share a deep dark secret to keep someone dear to me from having to repeat the error of our ways

It has to do with humiliation and the horrid things it can do to a relationship

Here's the secret:

Back when my daughter was about 9 (she's almost 25 now, so this was about 16 years ago), I let her have her hair cut without consulting her dad about it.

He went balistic (to put it mildly); berating me and saying some really unkind hurtful things -- now these things happen, but the worst part of it was that he did it in front of my parents.

To say it put a wall between us is a major understatement -- it created an atmosphere, mostly on my end that lead to some other very poor choices and some huge problems later.

It also took me until just recently (yes 16 years later!!) to be able to say out loud to him how that incident hurt (and scarred) me

I over heard someone the other day do a similar thing over something small. I could see the hurt in the person's eyes, and I know that person felt that same sting of humiliation.

So here's my piece of advice: you're going to have disagreements over little stuff (and big stuff) -- you'll need to discuss them -- please, for the sake of your love for each other and your future together, save it for when its just the two of you -- spare that pride and feeling of self worth in your partner by not humiliating them in front of anyone else (think about how you'd feel about it if the situation was reversed)

You'll both feel better for it

Friday, May 16, 2008

more rejection slips for the wall.....

While I was out and about yesterday, the postman deposited a box on my front porch.

Last fall I had sent a handbag to Haute Handbags in hopes of having it included in one of their future issues.

It has returned with a form letter telling me that I should consider submitting a different piece for the Fall 2008 issue -- deadline date? -- May 15 -- Hello -- the box with its form letter arrived on --- wait for it --- May 15!

I also got a letter from the show in Columbia, MO that takes place in September that we didn't make the cut for it either......course at the ever rising cost of gas, that may actually be a blessing.....who knows

sure would be good if I could figure out what it is would actually make the cut -- in either situation

oh well

Monday, May 12, 2008

so is success the opposite of failure?

well, not so much maybe

most of the definition of success now days has to do with finacial achievement, as in: Donald Trump is a big success, and Martha Stewart and Ophra


I'm thinking that kind of success is totally out of the relm of possibility for my life

so what else is success?

my success has been that my daughter has grown to be a beautiful young woman that has been willing to step into adulthood and take on its responsibilities while still maintaining her passion for practicing her talents

for the last 25 years my life has largely been centered around making sure what she needed was somehow accomplished to the best of my abilities

so now what?

at the age of 57, there's a good probability I will live for at least another 30 years

it is that long span of unplanned time, yawning like a huge cat, waiting to swallow me up that is the current dragon to be slain

I envy those folks at my age that are still off doing purposeful things (at least to them) in the corporate world -- yes, my dirty little secret -- I sometimes actually miss that feeling of having somewhere to go 5 days a week and where someone cared if I was there or not

I also envy those folks that knew enough to plan well enough or got lucky enough to have the means to travel and see art and attend the theatre

it leaves me to question just how to survive another 30 years

the rebel in my make up has always taken the attack approach -- work harder (ie: more hours), change jobs, or move to a new place to start over

are some people just destined to do well? Are they "fated" to make the right choices, guided to know what to do?

is it just dumb luck?

in my experience, wishing doesn't make it so (why don't I deserve to win the lotto?)

and I haven't heard any voice from anywhere telling me what to do next to "fix" it

It makes me think of the lyric Tim Rice wrote for a song from Aida

Is it written in the stars
Are we paying for some crime
Is that all that we are good for
Just a stretch of mortal time

For some god's experiment
In which we have no say
In which we're given paradise
But only for a day

so, is the free agency to choose just punishment?

its the emergency broadcast system: this has been a test -- if this was a real emergency you would have been told where to go and what to do

guess not

Friday, May 09, 2008

being the perfect failure

This theme seemingly will not go away

Let me explain

About a month ago I went to the annual Health Fair event to have my yearly blood work done

After a year of trying to improve my diet and taking my RX, etc., etc., I can report that the numbers are

(drum roll here)


Which only leads me to the question ---- why am I bothering??

just saying

I'm going off now to try to resign myself to having no control over this whole thing and I guess when its my time to go, I'm gone

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Slaying the Dragon -- or Not Being Afraid to Fail

Yesterday in my email box I found this link to a blog that addresses this subject.

My sister had sent it to me, and I'm really glad she decided to share it with me (what she was doing up on her computer at 1:32 AM!, is a whole 'nuther question I need to ask her about!!)

The premise of the post deals with cutting into really expensive fabric, and as a sewer, I can relate to this "fear".

I remember when I bought my very first piece of mohair fabric about 15 years ago.

It was lovely, soft, a nice cream with a wonderful lavendar tip, I paid $35 for a quarter of a yard of the stuff --- and I was scared to cut it --- what if I ruined it?

Suffice it to say I found the courage and cut it, and now, because I've made many, many mohair bears, I don't worry about cutting into fabric that costs me $150 a yard any more --- I worry about SELLING the bear when its done, but that's a whole other problem and has nothing to do with fear.

There were three things in the post that especially stood out in my mind:

#1 -- "That's just what failure is, or what it ought to be: failure is just figuring stuff out the hard way."


#2 -- "Sometimes when people say they're afraid of failure, what they really mean is that they are afraid of humiliation."


#3 -- "humiliation passes... you remember it for months; the witnesses remember it for seconds (they have their own humiliations to obsess over, and don't have time for yours)."

Erin does a great thing here -- she talks about the roots of the fear, but she also gives us some hope for conquering the fear. A reminder that most of us (especially those of us who "create" for a living) are our own worst critics.

I remember once, back in the day when I worked an office job, that there was a young gal that worked in the office with me that had finished all of the training to do a rock climb and she was afraid to go actually climb. I sat down with her one Friday afternoon and we talked about it. I must have said the right things to her because when she came to work on Monday she had a slight sunburn, a skinned elbow and a hugh dose of self confidence because she had faced the dragon and conquered it. (some days I wish I had a "me" to do this for me!)

And the point here goes back to Erin saying that failure is figuring stuff out the hard way.

I've spent some time lately wishing I could afford to go a take a few classes on techniques for bears and jewelry and quilts because in that "figuring stuff out the hard way" there is a certain amount of frustration (especially for those of us that want to run before we crawl -- or play "Moonlight Sonata" as our first piano piece!)

There is an up side to NOT taking all those classes tho' (aside from the $$ saved).

One of the things that happens to me when I take classes, is I tend to start building little boxes that tell me things can only be done with the materials and instructions that the teacher used.

By not taking a class I am freed to try things about which a teacher would say "you can't use that material" or "you can't use that tool" or "that won't work"

In the process I create things that no one has seen before.

It can be frustrating trying to explain them to an unappreciative customer at a show, and sometimes even to the show jury, but it is definately interesting.

And so, I'm going to try to consider that "the witnesses will be obsessing over their own humiliations" -- sort of like picturing the audience at your speech in their underwear --

So what dragon will you slay today?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"Go ask Alice"

Do you remember that lyric? Jefferson Airplane? Grace Slick?

I was not part of the "drug scene" of the 1960s, but the music I remember.

And this morning, as I was working away on my computer, the DH tells me to turn on the TV down here in my little basement dungeon to see the artist they're interviewing

and there she was --- WHITE hair half way down to her waist, talking about her PAINTINGS!!! (she's 68 years old -- amazing!!)

and yes, she still seems to be fascinated with Alice and the White Rabbit, but I was amazed and delighted by her drawings......they are bright and bold and direct --- sort of like her music was

In the interview she said that painting is what she does now instead of singing, and that if she couldn't do that she'd write or do some other kind of art

ah ha!! the artistic drive will always find a way to be expressed

it occurs to me (ok, DUH!!) that this is a familiar theme -- does the name Tony Bennet ring a bell? Music -- painting

it would be totally arrogant on my part to put myself in the same catagory with Grace Slick and Tony Bennet, but perhaps I'm not so odd -- not so famous, but not so odd either!!

Want to see some of her stuff? Use this link to check out a gallery that has some of her work available for sale.

(and now, I'll be humming "White Rabbit" all day long!!)