Tag Archives: fun

Holy Heat

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Heat has hit here in New England.   We went from having our furnaces on for a week, to installing my portable air conditioners in one day!   I guess I really should think about shaving my legs.

Had a great day of painting.   Let’s see, today I sketched, painted, grooved to some great music!  My mom is staying with me for a few weeks, anyway I thought she was outside so when Michael McDonald came on, I really rocked it!     I didn’t put my brush down for the fake mic, but close.    I stand up, dance, and walked into my living room and there sits my mom.     “Did you enjoy the concert, mom?”

Painting vegetables, fruit, sunflowers, and sketched my first person today.  He needs some work, and I can’t stand this guy, in fact, I loathe him, but I’ve been studying a picture of him for weeks, thinking about how exactly to draw it, what are his strongest features?  Maybe I’ll use it for target shooting!

I have four inches of roots showing on my head.   Is it not a wonder I have been using the widest headband I could find?  Thankfully tomorrow, hopefully, I’ll look human again.  I don’t know about having my hair done and shaving my legs on the same day.  It just might be too much excitement!

Still standing with our President!    I believe when the heats on, you step in and do what you can to support the person.

Well, I think I’ll head to bed early, have some research to do, and I love doing that when I crawl into my cozy spot, give thanks for another day, and pray for my family, my friends, my country, my President, and all service peeps, veterans, AND…. whoever reads this!

 

 

 

 

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Sensitivity, mental illness AND being right brained

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I read a LOT of self help books.     My mother said to me one day last year “I think it’s great that you want to improve upon yourself, but Donna, what about fun?    Well, I read art books, that counts for fun.  And I read articles online, a lot about cancer, guess that isn’t too fun…    But this comment of hers “came back” in my head this past week.

Thinking about sensitivity.   I have always been very sensitive.   Cry easily (ask my siblings, growing up with me, my parents didn’t know what to do with me and my emotions, so to eliminate stress for all, they would omit sharing things with me!   Now, this works, to an extent, but not all that great after that.   I found myself in my 30s and 40s before I started to really learn how to sit with stuff, how to deal with things that otherwise “hurt”.    Hey, they did their best, no blame there, just thinking about what it would be like to NOT be so sensitive?

I remember sitting in a 12 step meeting, an addict was struggling.  He shared how his newly found sobriety was good, but it was also overwhelming.  He realized booze helped numb him from his “oversensitivity” (also labeled that as a child).    He was an artist, and part of who he was was this beautiful sensitive soul, and he didn’t want to lose that.  But he was going bat shit trying to figure out how to cope with life on a daily basis without a numbing agent.    I sat there, shaking my head with understanding.  I thought EVERYONE cried at the end of Casper?!?   And a whole lot of other things.

Where is the balance?   I don’t know.   The older I get, the easier it becomes to screen or throw stuff out that I just don’t want to cope with.  I’m not talking about responsibilities, but others drama and things that frankly, bring me discomfort or discontent.   I have heard, numerous times, that most mental illness (including addiction) comes with an undiagnosed dual diagnosis.   I think about this, and I have many many friends who have been treated for one, and who still struggle.   It was like being diagnosed with ADHD just two years ago at 51.  Holy crap!    Medication made my life SO MUCH BETTER.  I was the first to judge another if they put their children on ADD or ADHD meds.  Now?  I encourage.  If this gives their child an opportunity to function better (and it will if they are truly ADD/ADHD), their life will be improved upon so much.  Mine has.

Most people my age are only diagnosed because their children were, first.     The things that I once thought were “normal” and that everyone shared, and now I realize, a big part of my self esteem and confidence being lower than it should.   Because I felt stupid, or lazy, sometimes crazy.   I have always known I’ve been wired different from others, but I always attached a negative connotation (just listed above) to it.   The truth is, I’m not stupid, nor lazy, nor crazy.   I’m not!  I struggle with mental illness and this isn’t fun.   But I’m not insane.

Most important thing for me to do has been and will be to learn how to cope….     I believe I have good self awareness, and I strive, I really do, to be a good person, do the right thing, one day at a time.    I’m not special in my struggles, I’m far from alone.   But you know what is worse?     It HAS to be having an undiagnosed, untreated mental illness.  And the stigma that is attached and has been to mental illness sadly keeps many lives struggling, with little quality.

I recently went off five medications after I was discharged from my outpatient therapy because I had missed too much time.  Another blog.   I weaned myself off, and started to pay attention to my body.   I believe I was overmedicated.   Now, I am starting to “feel” again, and my hands do not shake anywhere near what they did, which is part of why I stopped painting, teaching.   I’m doing well.   I’m focusing on the physical problems that need attention, and keeping a close check on my depression with close friends, through blogging, and a lot of prayer.

I want a quality life.   I want to feel peace, happiness.   I want to feel grief without losing myself to it, or several years of my life.   This means I have to learn to coping skills, and I have and am.     I need to accept that part of being me is being sensitive and to accept myself for who I am, and may very well always be.    I remind myself that God doesn’t make junk, and that I was designed to be perfectly imperfect.   We all were.

Today I’ve had a nice day, a peaceful day, a productive day.    I’m very grateful for this.   I’ll deal with tomorrow when it gets here.     Just want to say one more thing.  If you have never been diagnosed or treated for mental illness, educate yourself.  Read articles, peoples blogs, etc.   Only a very small percentage are really insane.  Most of us struggling with learning disabilities and mental illness are just trying to find our way out of the chaos that can ruminate in our heads.    I share on my experiences to help others know, they are far from alone.  I know it helps me to know this, too.

Happy Mental Health!

Today’s bumpy blog!

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First I would like to apologize for the lack of sentence and paragraph structure.  I’m not sure what I am doing wrong.  Haven’t experienced this before and frankly, it’s annoying as hell!

I’m breathing in the signs that Spring is coming. I can see the top of my shed, my roof is actually snow and ice free, and wonderful, joyous mud is starting in my driveway. Give me a month and I’ll crab about mud, but at the moment, it makes me smile, breathe in deep, the warm air that promises new growth…Yes, Yes, Yes. Spring isn’t just a vague memory, it is a real event, and with it comes regrowth.

The past couple of days I have driven down my favorite back road,which I haven’t in months. It’s not a road you take in the Winter, well, that I take in the winter. It was nice to see the brook visible, the snow dissipating and receding. Yes, yes… Spring is coming soon.

I just finished agitating some wool purses and motifs that I made. It’s easy to do it in your washing machine but I prefer to boil water in the tea pots, put them in my sink, and stir and agitate with a wooden spoon. I like to watch the wool change into felt. It makes me smile to do this. Then why oh why, don’t I like doing my dishes in the sink? If truth be told, there are times that I do enjoy doing the dishes. The warm/hot water soothes my fingers and hands. My hands that have brought so much joy to me, have created so much, worked hard, and with whom I believe is one of my biggest assets.

I think sometime, what if… What if I can no longer use my hands? How would I create? Well, then I think it would be time to use new technology and pump out the book that I’ve so leisurely and haphazardly been working on for years. I think I do this, I take my time because then God will grant me more time, I will live longer, because from a young adult I’ve known I was supposed to write. Oh only a fool would think such. The only one that I am fooling is myself, and should I graduate tomorrow, what will my epitat be? “What a beautiful book she was going to write”.
Do you ever think about what your legacy will be? What will you leave behind when you are called home? I sat last night looking through pages of my artwork, smiling. I’m fairly hard on myself, I have had my therapist ban words from my vocabulary…. One being “the f word” and the other begins with an L. I started to panic when she told me I wasn’t allowed to use the f word”….. I can’t do it, NO!   I cannot!   Relief overcame me when she explained she was talking about “failure”. She was talking about “lazy”. Two words that I tag to my toe on dark days. I wonder, does everyone have dark days?
I used to be such a people person. I used to love to go to parties, social events. Now? Not so much. And that is okay. The key here is to find balance. To find enough visibility and purpose to hop over the line of isolation into life.

I remember when I worked at a nuclear plant in the 80’s. I did very well for myself, two promotions in two years. Funny, as I think about it now, I was often criticized for not being able to stay with one job. I was good for about 3 years and then I was bouncing all over the place. It was when I went into business for myself that I found longevity. But I digress. There was a Meyer-Briggs personality test that many of us took “Myers Briggs Personality Test”. Among-st nuclear operators, geniuses, the majority fell into the category of “ISTJ” (Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, Judgement). It’s an interesting test, and if you want to take it I believe it is available free online. Based on Carl Jung’s work. Anyway, as the instructor shared how many of each of us fell into each category, he saved one for last. “And now we have one ENFP!  Can anyone tell me who that is? With that many eyes glanced over to me, laughter ensued. “What does that mean Irv?”, I asked him. “It means you don’t belong in a nuclear power plant!”  (Extrovert, Intuition, Feeling, Perception)…..http://personalitypage.com/ENFP.html
Have long since taken the test and the “e” has slid into “i”, though I believe that was the only think that changed.
Well, what a bumpy blog, eh? Not feeling like I made much sense, but then, do I ever?
Have yourself a great day! xo

ps…. The inability to stay in a job longer than 3 years has since been diagnosed as ADHD!

pss… I cannot imagine my life without creativity, music.

Pull up your moosic chairs and ears….

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imagesCA6645FTIn fifth grade we had a music teacher named “Mrs. Chang”.    A sweet Asian woman who would tell us to “get out your moosick books”….

Yesterday a facebook post taught me that a girlfriend of mine and I have the same favorite song!   It made me smile….  “Of course you love that song!”.     “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac.    Great minds, hearts think and feel alike, right?

Today I have been listening to music on Spotify.  I love that app.  As I am expanding my horizons, stepping out into the world again after many years of isolation, I feel the need to find new music that will reach deep within me.  I love the classics, songs of my past, but I also want to expand my horizons in this way, too.   Still, there are some songs that, for whatever reason, I needed to hear.

Music can raise me up higher than the clouds, or drop me as fast as a brick off the apex of a building, 22 stories up.  It gains momentum, speed, the rate of impact immeasurable.  So why, why, why would I do this to myself?

I’m not wallowing in my past, not today anyway.  But sometimes I listen to past music, read past journals which serve to sharpen my memory, remind me of places where I’ve been, places where I’m coming from, of lessons learned but long forgotten, or my very favorite,  replaying good, fun, wonderful movie clips of my yesteryears.   We all have certain songs that can drop us to our knees.  Or we’re driving in a car and we hear a song that echoes through our body projecting tears down our face.  It may be of beauty, it may be of pain, either way, it is indeed powerful.     My quest is to find new music that will one day remind me of my hear (get it? :)) and now.   I want to fall in love with an artists voice, lyrics that grab hold of not just my ear, but my heart.   I want to find the songs that God willing, I will listen back on 10-20 years from now and remember the strength, the courage I had to change my life.  It will serve to inspire me today, and remind me in later years.

 

images (19)When was the last time you listened to music of your past?  High school years?  Your 20’s? 30’s? 40’s?  Yeah, I know, some of you are so young you don’t even know who Harry Chapin, John Denver, Bob Dylan are!    What beat inspires you?  What song extends your arms into wings?  Have you listened to it lately?  I have a dear friend with whom his mother speaks to him from her place in heaven.   Typically when he needs to hear it, a song now long past that sometimes brings a smile to his face and sometimes tears running down his face, but nonetheless, the song is almighty powerful and meaningful for him.  “Sunshine, on my shoulders”.  -John Denver   I have now officially spent 4.5 hours sitting on my butt, listening to some of my favorite music expel through the bose and bring movement to my soul.    I gifted myself with this today!   How can enjoying any form of art be a waste of time???????

The music of the 70s makes my foot stomp and body move.  Music of the 80’s reminds me of time spent with my siblings, friends.  Music of the 90’s reminds me of an ending, and a fabulous new beginning in my life.  Imagine hearing one right after the other?  It would feel like being punched and then kissed at the same time!  HA!   The 2000’s were years that I existed.  I became a workaholic out of monetary and mental need.  I don’t really have many memories of music in this decade, and that is okay as I was given what I needed to get through all that I went through.  I am not unlike anyone else when in survival mode.  Breathing is not taken for granted, it is a forced action that took much effort, from a broken heart and all.

Now, I’m enjoying covers of songs that I love.  Overall they are filled more with music than voice, and still bring comfort and smiles, and yes, for some, sadness.  But I just don’t choose to listen to the songs that bring sadness.  I don’t have the energy to exert on the very things I cannot change.  Progress my friend, progress for me!

No matter the emotion, the decade, the artist, music is all-powerful.   I love seeing new blood and also inherited talent from a parental rock star!   We are all rock stars.  We are all-stars in our own world, so what have you don’t today to celebrate this in you?  In your loved ones?   I dare you to put on one of your favorite music, whether its rock, jazz, orchestra, instrumental, country, okay I’ll say it though I despise it… RAP… Whatever moves you…shake your butt, move around the house like Madonna, or Michael Jackson, or if you don’t know who they are, Pink?  Amy Winehouse?  Or fall back into your favorite easy chair, put your feet up and gift yourself with a few hours of tunes.     Have at it guys!   Let the music do what it does to you!!!!!   See what comes up for you!  Bet you if nothing else, you will smile!  And that?  That is pretty nice, isn’t it?

Rock on….. and now I shall leave you with the song that is doing it for me today!

Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising

Chaotic, crazy…. my Christmas Open House!

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For the past week I have been cramming for my Christmas Open House.  Every year I do this.  When I had the large studio with gift shoppe in the front we would have a grand Christmas Show in which my friend Mark and I would blast music (Laura Branigan, Cher…) NO!  Not Christmas tunes, we needed motivation, drive…. we needed beat!     It was always a fun weekend.  By the time we closed Sunday night, I would fall fast asleep in a chair, on the couch, or on the floor with my Brody boy.  
Since moving my studio to my home, I have it in my house, two nights.  This year it is Sunday and Monday.  

Every year I panic, I call my friend Harry, I tell him I don’t have enough, then I tell him it’s not good enough, then I tell him I’m worried that no one will like my things, that I will disappoint them.  And THEN I will say to him…. “Why do I do this to myself?????”  Speaking of the show, not the wind of idiocy that is spinning in my head, expelling through my tongue to Harry’s ears.      Every year he listens, every year he says “Calm down, breathe”.  Every year he says “Donna, you do this every year and it is always a success”… I mumble, I sometimes cry.  Anxiety….fear…..insecurity…..   Of course then there is the pricing.   I have underpriced my stuff for so long, I can no longer do it nor do I think I should.  See?  I do believe in my abilities, I do believe my work is nice… but when the whirlwind of doubt comes in, I end up calling Harry once again.    Every year the cost of supplies goes up, every year I hate raising the price but no one seems to say anything, they look at me and roll their eyes…

I think my biggest fear is that it will be disappointing to my guests.    I don’t want to let them down, I want them to come with great enthusiasm and leave happy, excited, pleased.    

Every year my studio is turned upside down, canvas everywhere, brushes everywhere, ornaments, beads, florals…and somehow when the show opens, everything looks nice.      I then wonder… is this the year I fail?   And then I ask myself, can I really fail if I’m doing my best?  These are my friends who are coming, not Hallmark Design team.    We shall see, we shall see… and I shall report, if I survive this! 🙂

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to follow tradition, I need to call Harry!   ♥

Sandbagged…. by a dog!

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True to our routine this morning Brody (my aussie) and I were outside playing frisbee.  We’ve been reduced to his old orange frisbee that a friend’s dog chewed, so it doesn’t fly well, nor does it go far.   A couple of months ago his favorite ultra light frisbee that Uncle Doug bought him last year came up missing.  This sucker not only “flies through the air with the greatest of ease” but goes quite a long distance.  After several scouting trips, with Brody’s help, I decided it was probably stolen.  We have a Black Lab in the neighborhood who runs loose at night and has stolen one of Brody’s new frisbee’s before.  I texted my brother just yesterday to find out where he had bought that frisbee so that I could replace it for my boy for Christmas.

This morning’s heavy winds assisted me to successfully throw this clunky old frisbee far enough that he could actually run and jump up and the air to grab it, something that he loves to do.   Now that he’s a senior citizen, and because it is so rare that I can get this thing to fly well enough for him to do this, I make very big of his success.  Mom is his personal cheerleader!

Off we head to the poop patch (Yes, I’m talking about the poop patch on my blog!).  As he is doing his duty I always look around for tennis balls that have been left behind, particularly now before snowfall.  Out of the corner of my eye much further out in the woods than we typically go I spotted this lime green color.  The same color of the rim of his ultra light fris.  Rather hopeful as I walk towards it, the wind wind clearly moved the leaves around enough to expose his long lost trophy fris!  Now, mind you, when Brody “finds” a long lost prized possession he carries it around prancing, showing it off for hours.  I could not wait to show him what the wind storm had unearthed for him!  As I was walking over to it I called him over, he quickly obliged.  I expected a dramatic reunion between him and his “old friend”.  To my surprise he slouched over and walked towards it slowly, in the same manner as he does when he is caught stealing cat food or hiding tennis balls in the middle of playing.  He hides tennis balls a lot from my mother, mostly because she usually does not go trudging up into the woods looking for them, I do!  She will throw the ball for him, and he comes back with nothing.  You have to understand that this dog is very intelligent, he “speaks” to you with unspoken language.   If he wants me to put the computer down he will sit beside me waiting for eye contact.  When I make it with him he will look at me, then look at my computer, several times.  He knows how to communicate to you what he wants.  My brother has always been impressed with how he uses his front paws to catch the frisbee, or as we would our hands.  I digress….  Back to the woods.  He suspiciously lowers his head, looking up at me out of the corner of his eye…What is this about?  He didn’t even pick it up!

I picked up the frisbee and walked back into the field where he is waiting for me to toss his fris.  I threw the ultra light…it went far, he ran hard for it, caught it, dropped it, then ran back to me.  This is not how we play!  He is now waiting for me to toss the old clunky orange frisbee, I oblige.  It flies for about 2 seconds then rolls on the ground for 20 feet, he runs after it, scoops it up and then brings it back to me.  This scenerio repeated itself a couple of times before I realized, the little shit HID the ultra light just as he hides tennis balls on my mom when he is tired.  He was doing his guilty slouch and walk because he KNEW the frisbee was there!  If you could see his little play act when I am playing with him and he hides a tennis ball on me.   I know when I am getting closer to the ball because his little nub (he has no tail, they dock it at birth) is going 100 miles an hour, and he’s circling the area while looking out of the corner of his eyes at me!  He’s quite the dog, my Brody boy.   I was sandbagged by my dog!

He will be 11 in June, is a couple pounds overweight.  To look at him you would think he is in perfect health.  He has arthritis, and is having some health issues that clearly concern me, however, this is all part of his age.  He has always been a very proud dog, sensitive too.  He would never lay down and rest, even in the smouldering heat of the summer, we would have to stop throwing the ball for him and make him drink water, particularly if kids were over playing with him.  He wanted to keep playing.  Hiding this fast, far flying frisbee is his way of slowing down!

As we walked down the bank to the house, Brody with the old clunky orange frisbee hanging out of the side of his mouth, hanging by his eye tooth, and me carrying the ultra light, I had many thoughts.   For one, I felt guilty for blaming the big black lab that flies through hear by night, second, I am grateful I didn’t spend $25 on a new ultra light for him, and third, I think my dog in his old age is smarter than his momma!

Pigtails are for grownups too!

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Who says 48 year old’s can’t wear pigtails?   Okay, so I won’t be putting on the brown bikini  made of hankerchiefs that my mom made me and that I wore all summer as a kid…. I’d have to hand out too many barf bags… but pigtails?? Who cares?  I figure my breasts are now about the size they were when I used to wear pigtails…. so why not????   When was the last time you wore pigtails?  Or put your hair up in a bunch of rubber bands?  My girlfriend and I did this last week.    Dare I post the pic? hmmm

When was the last time you did something fun?  Silly?  Something that made you chuckle and feel childlike… not caring what anyone thought?

I can become so wrapped up in my troubles, in my responsibilities that I forget to allow myself to be silly…  Today I allowed myself to be silly…  I hope you do too!

4th of July, 3rd Birthday, 60th Wedding Anniversary…and a reunion of best friends….

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On July 4th I traveled to Missouri to spend a week with my best friend and her family on their summer vacation.  I had not seen her or her family in almost a year and a half since the last vacation we were on.  Much has happened in our lives  since then.  A year and a half has been too long, but will all that has transpired it has been quick, too.  If that makes any sense at all.   It was a wonderful time for me.

Not only did we celebrate Independence Day but my girlfriends granddaughter turns 3 tomorrow, so we had a party for Hannah on Wednesday evening.  Her mom made her a cake and Hannah decorated it.  It was cute and a varietal of flavors! lol.  Thursday night we celebrated my girlfriend’s parents 60th wedding anniversary.  It makes me smile.  They are such nice people, really.   I love them both, truly I love all her family, they are wonderful.  Lunch & dinners were eaten together, around a table,which was such a delight for me. It brought many memories of my childhood, upbringing.  Coming from a large family, and at least one or two of us always dragging someone home for dinner, our lunch or dinner table was always filled.  It was nice.   I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the vacation.  Home cooked meals everyday which I didn’t partake in, but I offered to help, and did assist in clean up.  Good food, good company, good laughs.  It was great.

My girlfriend and I got to room together in this luxurious suite.  (I am of course kidding) with twin beds.   We did our usual gabbing at night, and laughter… it was wonderful.  Although the first 3 nights she fell off to sleep, snoring…. as I was talking to her.. hmmmm was she faking to just try to get me to shut up???  dunno.

We boated, swam, floated, some fished, tubed, wake boarded, skiied, walked, relaxed.. I read the book “The Shack” which my friend Judy gave me last July…  We visited Silver Dollar City (amusement park)… not my favorite part of the week but I went for Hannah, and she had a blast!  Her smiles and laughter were worth it all.

It is good to be home, as I’m tired and ready to sleep in my own bed… but I am grateful for this vacation, for being given this opportunity, for being part of their “extended” family…. it’s a great place to be!

I must close my eyes now and rest….  God speed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1