Tag Archives: healing

The itsy bitsy spider…


I had fully intended to have a Donna Day, pj’s, Bose, paint brush in hand.   I did all of these, but I have been distracted all day, combined with the untreated ADHD, we are talking some major bouncing today.

Received some very hard news this morning that is not up to me to share, but I have been sick to my stomach all day.   Perhaps one day I will be able to share on it all, but right now I cannot, and will not until I have permission.

As everyday comes and goes I am always reminded of how short life is.   To see my great niece and nephew’s pictures on fb, I am shocked at how much they have grown and matured.  There has been so much that has happened this year, in the past year and a half, that I can’t even keep up.   My head feels like I am on a hampsters wheel this minute, trying to wrap my head around all the changes.   I think of my dad who will be 85 in a couple months, and how difficult that situation is, I guess when your parents are that age you have to think about their passing, but Lewy Body Dementia.    NOT FAIR.  But NOTHING has been fair in my family.

I have been feeling good, accessing some hard times and working diligently on the book I promised myself I would write 10-15 years ago.   As a creative I sometimes feel like I am channeling, because I sometimes read back what I have wrote, or painted, and I think “who did that?”   And just when you think you’ve caught a break, something else shows up to knock you to your ass.  Yes, I know, this is life.  We were never told life would be fair, nor was I born with a silver spoon in my mouth.   But I come from strong line of parents.   Brave parents.   I have often shared about how they taught me to be resourceful.    As an artist it is a wonderful trait and skill to have.

Right now I am not centered, and I am walking in circles, and if I allow myself to feel anything today it is anger.  But we all know that anger is a whole lot easier to feel than emotional pain, or sadness.    I have thought about those souls who “cut” themselves.   It offers relief from their pain, their torment, but of course it’s temporary.   But what I am reminded again today is that everything is temporary.

In my life I have vacillated through much.    Decades ago now when I had to have a sportscar, or designer clothes.   Those days are long gone.   That doesn’t mean I don’t have dreams or see cars that I like and say “damn”, it’s just that for a long time, I have struggled with basic survival needs.   Right now while I am not where I want to be, but I am so better off than I have been in a long time.    I sometimes think to myself “When I get here, I will be okay, etc.”    Then days like today I am reminded that TODAY, this moment is all we have.   Rather than beat myself up for where I wanted to be at this point in my life, I am taking a very deep breath tonight, saying prayers of thanks, and asking for  the ability to help someone I love.

Life isn’t about money, yes, it is easier to have it, I remember the days fondly when I could buy whatever I wanted, but now those things mean very little to me.   The greatest commodity we have is time.   Tomorrow is promised to no one.    The successes in my life have to be celebrated each day, not as certain intervals that I think would bring me more happiness, or at a lower weight, or whathaveyou.    Future’s have a way of falling down in midflight.     So today I am right back to basics, and feeling grateful for where I am, that I have a comfortable bed to sleep in, that I have food in my refrigerator, that I have a place called home, and that as far as I know today, right now, I have my health.   Cannot stress enough how if you have your health you have it all.    If you don’t understand this, you one day will.  I think it’s a right of passage per say.  When you or someone you love is faced with serious illness, the gift that comes out of it if you’re strong enough to grab it, is perspective.

I take things for granted, we all do.    We leave our driveway and take for granted that we are going to go to the grocery store and come back with food, safely.     We take for granted much.    And yet, how I feel right now tonight, is that it is the recipe, or all that we take for granted that really can define your life one day.    It’s the smaller things in life, the tiny steps, the smiles, the tears, reaching out your hand to someone in need, these are the things that really matter.    I am reminded when I spent some time at Mass General Hospital with serious illness, infection, and the night prior to being admitted I had been bitching about my hard mattress, and stupid shit that the next day, upon admission and realizing I was in a fight against time, none of that mattered.  It didn’t matter.    When I passed the danger zone and was released and I drove myself home, and I got home, the very things I had been unhappy with a week before were now embraced, loved, as luxuries.

It’s impossible not to take things for granted, otherwise we would live in constant fear, etc.   But in the classic christmas movie, I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it right now, but he grabs the broken stair bannister and smiles, celebrates it.  I think if we can recognize that everything here is temporary, so you do your best (if that’s who you are, and you give it your best, and if it’s a hard day, you hope tomorrow will be better, but if for some reason you don’t wake up tomorrow, or tomorrow comes with more calamity, what were the simple things of yesterday that you had that you wish you had on this new day?

I am not a religious person, I am highly spiritual however, and I try not to judge others, but I fail, and I give my life my best, and some days, I can’t get out of my own way.    I win, I swear like a parrot at times because it makes me feel tougher, and that somehow I will not be hurt again, or being tough will keep others at bay.  Whatever.    It’s all so stupid, it’s meaningless.

Life isn’t about hiding from the hard shit.  It’s about walking through it, and if you’re fortunate, coming out the other side.  It’s about growth from A – Z, it isn’t about the destination but the journey.     How brilliant our lives would be if we were appreciative of the smaller things.

I am going to try to be kinder to myself, I am going to try to slow my mind down, feel each step as I take it, and look around to what is there, and I hope I will become more aware and appreciative of the things that I take for granted.   I have been doing this somewhat with my painting.   I used to paint something to finish it.  Not anymore, I work on it slowly, sporadically, I think about it, where I want to go with it, what I like about it, or what I don’t.   It has made me a better artist.    So no doubt, slowing my ass down and recognizing all that I have to be grateful for, will make me a better, happier person.

Go forth, in love and acceptance of yourself and others.  And I pray that from this moment forward I will not overlook the itsy bitsy things that are more precious than gold!


Experience, Strength and Hope


The past couple of weeks has gifted me with answers to a couple incidents in which I pointed fingers to another.  What was that gift?  “For every finger you point, there is three pointing back at yourself!”     Wow!   Basics of Life 101!

Today marks a very sad occasion in my life.  16 years ago my sweet kid sister took her last breath on earth.   At 38 her life was plucked out from under her with the nasty, insidious disease of cancer.    Darlene was an old soul, a kind soul, she worked hard and played hard.   I think back on her life and I am so grateful that she lived her short life, well.  She really did.

Those close to me know I mention this every year, and at least weekly I mention the cancers in my family, or the losses I’ve experienced.   It isn’t “to dwell”.  It is that grief has been the hardest walk I have ever been through in my life.   Last night I said “goodbyes” to an online friend who I believe is in final stages of dying from cancer.   It wasn’t easy, but I did it.  And now I am offering prayers for her, that this please be over for her soon.  Too much suffering.

I mention loss and cancer because both are a big part of my life.   Every day, it doesn’t matter how many years it’s been, I have to make choices to live my life the best I can, with realities that aren’t easy, not in the least.    I’m not “stuck” in grief.   Part of my daily choices are to live my life to my best, accepting my own shortcomings and issues, and there are many!   Some day I succeed, other days I have a hard time getting out of my own way, but because of what I have been through with family and loved ones, I try to make my life and each day purposeful, I do this for those who I have lost and no longer have that opportunity.  I do this because they have taught me to appreciate myself and my life, the earlier which is my greatest struggle.  There isn’t enough time in this day to share my struggles, nor am I into sharing them for the world to see.  I will share on some, because it’s part of healing for me, and my hope is that if my blog(s) help one other person through a crap time in their life, then my own suffering isn’t in vain.

At this age, and well over a decade of living alone, I have come a long way baby!  I will always be the person who wants to help others, I will always offer experience, strength, hope to another, always.  But what has changed is that I must do this for myself, first.    The world doesn’t need to know nor do most people care what I’ve been through in my life.   Thank god!  Otherwise I may be another “celebrity” that idiots look to for answers!   Yes, I said it.   Celebrities too often have a larger sense of self importance than the rest of us.    I’ve learned that it is important to take care of and love myself, to have self respect, but equally to know heightened self importance isn’t the authentic person that I consider myself to be, and aspire to be.    I’m reminded many times why we have two ears and one mouth!   To listen!

This week I am starting anew with some self care things, and rather than to beat myself up because I had lost my way to these, I am proud of myself that I picked up the phone to make the phone calls to help myself.  I didn’t discuss this with anyone, it was something I did for myself, something I recognized I needed.    I’m getting far too old to keep beating the shit out of myself for being human.   Will I do this perfectly?  Um, probably not!  lol.

I have been enthralled in feelings of fear for someone close to me, someone who I love.  Every essence of my being says they’re headed for trouble.    But this time, I have the experience of watching another person I love self destruct.  There is nothing joyful about it.  It is hell, first losing respect for someone, and also “waiting for the shoe to drop”.   The fact that I reached out for help for myself tells me I have learned that the only true person I can save is myself.  And if someone doesn’t care that much about themselves, no matter how much I love them, (and I do love deeply), I cannot fix or make another person love themselves.    With that said, it doesn’t mean I stop loving them.

So today, on this day, I am remembering my sister(s), her antics, her love of life.   I miss her more than words can say, but I know i always will.    I’m not a believer that “time heals”.    I don’t think it does.   I think time teaches us how to coexist with whatever it is, for me today, the loss of my kid sister.   I had to do the work, I had to walk through the barbed wire fence, and scratchy bushes of grief to get to where I can recognize when I’m in need of help, tears, other.   In the beginning, it just isn’t impossible, at least it wasn’t for me.  The waves were too often and inconsistently.   Nor am I right now, allowing the very fear I walked in losing a love to alcoholism, with another person close to me.  My job in all of this is to take care of myself (and I’m still learning HOW to do this).

I guess I could say today there has been tears, I am thankful for insight gained today, and I am grateful for where I am and who I am today.   Getting “back on” a train isn’t as hard as trying to catch it at 90 mph with insane thinking!   I am grateful.  I hurt, I feel, I have sadness, but I also have choices to help myself, I am learning!   And for me?   That’s enough right now.  I am learning.  I am also very grateful for the many friends in my life who gently remind me to be kinder to myself, and sometimes this happens when they are beating on themselves or other.   Detachment doesn’t mean I don’t love them, it means I offer prayers for them, help when asked, but I first and foremost take care of myself, first.
Love to all reading this




Temporary Insanity


I have been a bit insane the past few hours.    No, not a Hannibal Lechter persona, but too much sugar, overly stimulated and obnoxiously enthusiastic.     Let me tell you, it really doesn’t make for a great mix.

But what I want to talk about tonight isn’t how crazy I can get, but how I have grown, even around the crazies.  For one, I can sit back, look at my behavior and feel whatever it is I am feeling, and sit with those feelings.    For example, when I realize I’ve been a bit tattered, I recognize that.   And then the “frantic” thinking comes in, how I have to fix, fix, fix whatever it was that I think I did so wrong, or who I offended.  I keep my hands busy as I work my way through the emotions of the moment, not an easy task for a right brained outrageously over sensitive soul!     Then somewhere, in its own time, I forgive myself, I acknowledge what it is that I need to do, many times an apology is in order, but in apologizing, I am not beating myself up, nor am I painting myself as a crazy person or add unnecessary drama to an already cluttered scene.  Once I have calmed myself, I simply apologize for my actions, or reactions, or obnoxious enthusiasm that others sometimes put up defense to.

Sometimes it takes me a while to write the apology, because it has to be sincere, and while I always taint whatever it is I am doing with humor, (and sometimes displaced humor) I am being altruistic with my apology and sense of humor.  Humor that many may think is dark, perverse, or  thwarted towards that “insanity” thing again!  But I swear to you, humor is one, if not THE BIGGEST tool I have in life.     There really isn’t too much I cannot find humor in, and I surround myself with friends who “get me”, and love me just as I am… imperfect.  Perfectly imperfect.   But I was not designed to be perfect, nor NEAR perfect!   That title belongs to a being I cannot ever compare myself to!  Because I don’t believe this “being” will ever compare me to another as well.   It helps me gain perspective, composure, and the ability to laugh at myself is healing.

Now, in order to find humor in others actions, words, I believe we first have to be able to find humor within ourselves, and make fun, or light of that which we do ever so swiftly, and incompetently!   Because that is what I was designed for.   To learn, to grow, to step outside of my safety zone, to forgive myself,  (and others) as I do others (well, for the most part).   Because if i don’t forgive myself then I am inviting the reign of depression, and oppression into my soul, and that is NOT a good place for me to be, nor to subject myself (nor others near me) to!

The next step in this developmental growth is to not only earnestly, honestly apologize with sincerity, but to detach from whatever THEIR (my victim, hmmm that’s too hard of a word, let’s say “the unfortunate receiver  of my craziness!”      Time used to control me.   I am one where learning “delayed gratification” took a few decades to grasp.    Now time helps me cope.  It doesn’t change what has been done, nor give (nor should it) excuses for my ill behavior, but in that time I can center, focus, and release that which used to hold me bondage to.

I do care what the person I’ve made amends to is feeling, but I have to also let that go.   They are on their own journey of discovery, recovery, or plain survival!    So to keep myself and my side of the road clean, I detach from it, from them.    Time will reveal what is meant to be, or not!   I’ve learned that life is like a 100 piece puzzle.   Sometimes I immediately am granted 60 pieces to that puzzle, but the other 40 pieces are only revealed over that four letter word again “TIME”, and I’ve also learned not to expect clarity in all aspects of my life, my puzzle.  That 10-20% of missing pieces can have its own speedy pace of the “why’s” or “how comes”.  Words that are really best used by the adolescent, experiencing whatever it is he or she is seeing for the first time.   I haven’t had much luck at picking up those words or questions.   It just leads me back to the path of bondage and insanity.

So tonight, I’ve made my amends, and when I crawl my tired butt into bed, I will pray that if it is meant to be, please let my apology be accepted.  To also offer whatever it is needed to and for the “receiver of my craziness”!

What a tongue twister this blog has been.   Be well,  be honest, be kind, and if you have inherited a nasty need to beat yourself up…..  Let it go.    Practice self love, practice real love, practice real people and life.    It is amazing what this “self love” stuff can do.     I just want to end with one more platitude, if that’s the word.     Every day I hear people say “Time heals”, particularly around loss.     Well, I disagree.     Time never “makes right” that which has been lost, or passed, but it DOES help us, teaches us how to COEXIST with this loss.   There is a difference!

Sending love and light to whoever is reading this!





This past week I spent a few days in Maine, York to be exact.   Being around water is super wonderful for me, it helps ease the binds that chain me.   The ocean?  Makes me realize how small my problems are.  That is not to say that my problems aren’t important to me, they are, and I’m facing life with zest and experience, knowing a higher power has always had my back, and I highly doubt he’ll abandon me now.    But just as anytime something bad happens to you and you never really have to look real far for someone who has it not only worse than you, but much worse, and they handle it gracefully, the ocean reminds me that the reaches of self importance in extreme can be like a tital wave, gushing in here, there, everywhere until you are no longer focused on that which needs work.

I was thinking about what it’s like when you lose your identity.  For me, I was a art teacher.  I travel taught, and published in magazines, self published, even authoring a book many moons ago now.   So when that seized to exist, who am I?  What am I accomplishing?  Am I worthy of life?    So now, just these questions you probably are saying “Lighten the hell up, Donna!”.    This is where my brain goes.    I felt purpose when I taught.   I remember when I cut way back on travel teaching, a battle five years ago with depression and anxiety so high I don’t care to even think about it.    I couldn’t function.   I had all I could do to take care of myself, physically, mentally.    So teaching was cast aside and so were many “friends” who didn’t accept “the new me”.    Maybe it’s in my head, but maybe not.  When you are no longer supplying people with what they want, or need, does your existence go away?   Because if it does?   I’m here to tell you, these people are not your friends.   Friend’s stick with you through the challenges of life, and there are MANY challenges in life.  And those who don’t?   Doesn’t mean they weren’t your friend, or that they don’t care.  Perhaps they don’t.  But It’s okay.  It really is.   Because new, good, fun, meaningful things are new people are awaiting your arrival!

I’m about to embark on a “come back” if you will.   But not really a come back, but a new chapter in the life and times of Donna Scully.   Not really sure what will work for me, but I know I loved to teach, and if I went into a class in a bad mood, when I left it, I was singing and smiling.  (Insert Rocky Balboa theme song here).   KIDDING!  Have a lot of things going on, excited and happy about that.  Stay tuned!

I’ve been thinking about how painful and disappointing it can be when you are treated differently because for what ever reason, you are no longer offering what you once did.  Who is not to say that you aren’t better then you ever were?  Seriously?

I have a friend who was unfriended by many “friends” because of his political view.   A “star” to them at one time, now, forgotten.   It has to hurt.  It did when long time friends did that to me, but I’ve long since made peace with all that.    I really have.   I believe when doors close, windows open, and new adventures will reveal themselves.

I’m a creative soul, a good soul.  I am kind, honest, caring, and I love fiercely.   But age and experience has taught me that not everyone is worthy of time (and likewise, I’m sure).   So I’m rather excited about “new beginnings” that will define itself mid term.   I look for signs, pray for guidance, and am never disappointed with what comes to replace the old.    The problem I have is hanging onto what once was.    I white knuckle it until I’ve made the step of acceptance, and USUALLY when I can’t decide what is next for me, it is because it hasn’t yet been revealed.

I remember a day when I was on my way to a Michael’s, probably 30 miles from my home.  On my way there I was asking my higher power “Should I start designing in needlecraft again?”    Not five minutes later, upon entering Michael’s and heading back to the yarn department a woman I hadn’t known said my name.  “Donna Scully?”  Oh boy, how do they know me?   Anyway.  She introduced herself as a couple of my students mom.  Had recognized me from magazine pics, I guess.    (Miracle there).   Anyway, she said “Guess what I’m doing here?”  I look down at her basket which was full of this one beautiful colored yarn.   “Making a sweater?” I asked?   With that, she pulled out one of my Leisure Art booklets that has long since been retired, it was an instructional pamphlet with 5 of my sweater designs in it.  “Nice!” I said!    “Thanks for sharing!”

As I walked back to the department after our conversation I looked up, smiled and said “Thank you!”    The experience justified spending more money than I was planning on!  (I’m good at justifying when it comes to my creative efforts).

I had an epiphany a few weeks ago… alas, direction, I know what I’m doing, and the direction I’m supposed to head in.  But all eyes are not on the prize, but on what presents itself because things rarely ever turn out the way I think they are going to.   I have endless stories of this type of event happening with me.   Like one time thinking maybe I’d sell my house and move away.  To where?  Was in CT with a close friend, we were on a Craigslist adventure.     During our conversation I said I didn’t yet “feel it”.  I didn’t know where I should be, I just know I felt disheveled.   Just as I say that a sign (town sign) showed up on our right.  “Vernon” (which is also the Town in which I live in another state!”   We both laughed.  I guess I’m supposed to stay put!

Do you get these signs?  Are you listening and open to them?   I bet signs are all around you, are you open to seeing or hearing about them?

Blah Blah Blah


I watched President Donald J Trump get sworn in yesterday.   I didn’t see him grab anyones whowho, nor did I see anything improper go on, but I DID catch a glimpse (and watched it several times) of the perverted former president who was ogling someone other than his tyrant wife, who was caught and given the “dead stare” that I have given before!   I found it funny.

I do not understand the marches.  Yes, I said it.   I am a woman (looks down, Yup!)    I am for womens rights.    But I do not agree with the vagina hats or very crude signs that some were holding up, many.  I know good women who marched.  I support them, because it was important to them.  But really, I’m very confused at to what this was about.  Who has lost rights?  He hasn’t been in for more than 24 hours and he’s already destroying lives and families!

I don’t profess to agree with everything he has said or done, but I have heard men share (and women, for that matter) talk locker talk in front of others.   And I’ve been called a racist for years, since I decided I didn’t like the politics of Obama.  But I was respectful.   I lived through his presidency, and was mistreated by others because I didn’t like him.

You know, it’s getting really old to me.   The country voted (oh yes, we ALL KNOW CLINTON won the popular vote) but Trump won the electoral.   HE WON.   He is our President.  For those of you who say “he’s not my president” I say, go live in another country and see how well you have it.   And take those self professed important movie stars and comedians who have been threatening to go if he got elected!

If you want to march, march.  If you want to protest, protest, but destroying property that doesn’t belong to you, throwing things on those who attended the Inaugural Ball, is NOT right.  Frankly, it’s violence, and it’s a crime and they should be arrested.  Let me further add that bullying a child (The Trump son) on SNL skits or whathaveyou (and yes, you too Rosie!  I’ve lost all respect for you, calling him austistic)   How is this okay?  How is this okay and acceptable to ANY OF YOU?   Or Ashley Judd, really?  Referring to his wet dream of his daughter?   How is this ANY LESS nasty than what Trump said in the presence of other drunk men?  How?

I read last night that there is already an impeachment started.   This is so sad.   What happened to democracy?   I will tell you, I’m a registered democrat.  I haven’t voted that way in a long time because I’m appalled at what the party has become.  That doesn’t mean I jumped ship and joined the republican party, although I will say, I voted for Trump! gasp!  I know, how dare I?

Here’s what has happened.  You have college students who are being excused because they are emotionally unequipped to accept Trump was elected.  My God, we watched the Space Shuttle blow up and still had to go back to school or work!   Get a grip!  But I have found humor in much of this.   The over inflated  egos of actors and actresses who haven’t a clue what “reality” is, or what it means to be a working class single woman trying to make ends meet.   I think the election was a blow to all of them who realized their “importance” didn’t make a difference in the election!   Get over yourselves!   And what a shame (but nonetheless the same as we’ve been living, for those of you who join me in NOT liking St. Obama!) that you would punish a peer, because they don’t agree with you.  Really?  I will say this for the Obama’s, there were no scandals!

When Trump was elected I had put his picture on my fb page as President Elect.  “An old friend” who is gay, and whom I defended his rights since his early teens (I think he’s in his 40’s now) told me he couldn’t be my friend anymore because I stood for hate!   And then he private messaged me and told me to f*(* off.   When I blocked him, he kindly went to my business page and wrote that I’m …..  all the names we’ve all seen and heard TOO MANY TIMES.    On my business page!  “And don’t you contact my family again!”.  Well, that’s funny, because his aunt (who he treats well, depending on what he needs) is a good friend of mine.  He speaks for her?  NOT!    This is the thanks I get because I have a different view on politics?  How is this behavior helping your cause???????????

If rights are being stripped, I will stand up for what I believe in.  I believe in womens rights, and a right to choose whether they want an abortion or not, I will stand up for my gay friends (who have not unfriended me in the very manner in which they wrongfully unfriended me!   But I’m not going to jump on anyone’s bandwagon against President Donald J. Trump.  Why?   Because like it or not (and apparently a large majority do not) he is The President of the United States.  I live here, you live here.    Adjust, like many of us had to do with Obama.

And yes, we know, Obama was better than sliced bread.  I’m just waiting to hear how Trump (in his 24 hours of service) has caused this divide in our country.   And for those of you who are brave enough to do extensive research on the “dead pool” associated with the Clinton’s, because in my view, she was no prize! I think of her what many of you thinking no of Trump, at least he’s right out there. I am not impressed with the dual personalities that Clinton has “for the public” and private,NOT AT ALL!

I want a woman President.  I do.  But I want one who is worthy, not one who has been bought and sold one hundred times over, who has stayed in a repulsive “marriage” for power.

If you want to bitch and moan, go ahead, but do not do it on my blog, and do not do it on my facebook page, because I’ve had enough.     For you Clinton lovers, I’m so glad you can believe in the fairytale, but there are many of us who know differently.  And as I watched Bill ogle over whoever it was, rumored to be Ivanka or Melania, I took great pleasure in knowing, there would be no more scandals of the Clinton’s.   Remember?  The ones who left the White House broke and stole all that stuff they had to bring back?   Yes, it was a while ago, so I supposed we aren’t supposed to talk about that!

I support President Trump, even though I despise his tweets and his need for attention.  I support the men and women he appointed to positions to help our country.  And if you want to unfriend me, please do so. I’ve reached a point in my life where other peoples opinions of me do not effect who I am, my purpose in life, nor does it define me as good or bad.   My view may be different from yours, if you are a true friend, you’d respect my views, you don’t have to agree with them, but certainly mistreating me…..  How is that helping your cause?  I don’t want anymore fair weather friends.  I want friends who know me, and may disagree with me, but see value in me as a person, as a woman, as an artist, a daughter, sister, aunt, friend…  If you aren’t one of them, I can live with that. But I ask you, exactly what do you expect from those of us who support you, but not this long drawn out dramatic tale that has yet to happen?  Are you strong enough, is there enough courage in your convictions to give this guy a try? Are you brave enough to accept that you MAY not be the most important priority right now? What are you willing to do for  your country?

I leave you with the words of one very popular President.  “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy   



Today I took my mom to her parents graves.   She wants to plant some flowers on them and couldn’t decide what to buy so we went there first.  My mothers youngest  brother died a few weeks ago.  We just got access to clean out his apartment.  We’ve worked hard the past couple of days, last night we received some very difficult news which left us both feeling very disappointed.  This morning I woke up, she was in tears.   My mother seldom cries.   She read some of the police reports when he had disappeared for 2 years and she couldn’t find him.  His then short term wife brought him somewhere and he had brain surgery, then put him in a nursing home and filed for divorce.   It took two years for the sheriff to find him.   The past couple of days she has relived her childhood, the auto accident my uncle was in that caused damage to his brain.   He could still walk, talk, but his thinking had been altered.   On my grandmother’s death bed my mother made a promise to her mother that she would take care of Hank, and she did.   I just listened to her this morning for a couple hours as she shared stories from her childhood.   This was why I suggested we go to the cemetery.   It ended up being a good thing to do.   She reminisced and shared childhood stories from the small town she grew up in, and where my grandparents, uncle are buried.  I think it was healing for her.   Then we went flower shopping!

We had a credit coming to us at Tractor Supply, so we bought some birdseed and annuals.  Then she wanted to stop at a local nursery on the way home.  We had an enjoyable time “just looking” and a basket full of plants!    My mom loves to be outdoors, garden, she loves to watch the birds, so we filled up the feeders, some for finches and others for bluebirds.  We trimmed branches on my “tree of life” so the blue birds can get a clear view of it and the blue bird house several feet behind.   We’ve always had blue birds, this year we do not.  I only saw one.  So we’re trying to entice them back.

As I drove her around and listened to her stories I felt grateful that I have this time with my mom.   I’m grateful I still have both parents, and I’m grateful that I can be there for her when she needs support.    She is spending the weekend at my house so we’re going to do a lot of small projects including planting the beautiful assortment of posies we bought…   How nice making these good memories.   I need to keep busy right now, am struggling with some things myself, so I think this will be good, for both of us.    I like doing for my mother.  My efforts and actions are not to seek her approval, but to be the best daughter I can be.  This makes ME feel good.  I love taking care of my animals.  This, too, makes me feel good.

We’re planning on what we can use for props in the flower garden and beds.  I found this old shovel at a friend’s dump pile and it’s going to be a perfect prop.   I bought a very old wooden wheel barrel at a flea market years ago.   We plant flowers in it every year.   I’m excited about the weekend.

I shall now retire to bed, watch a couple Golden Girls or Frasier reruns and will hopefully sleep well as I have an early day tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.   Be safe!


The journey to wisdom…


Another day that I feel was wasted with sleep, rest.   Shaking my head.   Tomorrow will be better.. .tomorrow will be better.   The antibiotic seems to be working however, I feel better.  Not so much that someone punched me in my face but more like a baby swinging their head back and getting me.    Softer…

I have been contemplating my life, my life accomplishments, failures, and more.   Sometimes I look at my life and think I’m the luckiest person in the world, I do what I love for work, I love my family and many friends, I’m surrounded with furries, I live in a beautiful part of the world where I get to often see nature’s creatures.    I can look at my designs in art, jewelry, needle craft, and read my writing and think “Damn girl, you’re doing okay”.     Other days, not so much.

On these days I have to remind myself that I should not measure success by way of my bank account.    I would barely get a few feet.  I’m not materialistic, though I love nice things.   I want my home to be a reflection to who I am, and offer warm comfort and welcome to guests.   I’m told that I have succeeded here.   I think about the unfinished mural of Tuscany in my kitchen, the hole in the wall to fit the stackable into it’s new location upstairs, the broken and old windows that offer no insulation, and the many other things that I know and some days, is all I see.   I have to look further.    My home, my body, my life is a work in progress.    If everything were to be put in proper place and fall together, wouldn’t that be boring?     Sarcasm (to tear flesh)……

Have been thinking about something and last nights conversation with my bestest girlfriend took this even further.    I, we are forever changing, growing.    We may watch a movie one day, and then years later watch the same movie and see it’s message so differently.  Why?   Because we are not who we were the first time we saw it, therefore we have grown, evolved from there.    It’s like driving the same road for years and then one day seeing something, sizable, that we had never seen.   It happens.    Instead of getting flustered with why we didn’t get the goodness, the message we are getting from it now years later, perhaps we can look at it as if whatever we saw then, was what we were ready to see?

Hindsight is always 20/20.  I enjoy asking people this question “If you could go back and do it all again, what would you do?”  You may be surprised to hear “I don’t want to go back”.   I feel that way.   But I can dare to look at the things I would have done differently.   Not failure, or regrets, just knowledge.  There is a difference.   Knowledge comes from truth.     No one goes through life without missteps.

As I mentioned before, I am trying to look at my life for what it is.  I recently have been getting my will together, and making known  my end of life choices, and realize on days that are difficult, that I have not all I need to live an unfrustrated existence, I can easily whip myself into self loathing, feeling bad about the decisions I once made that reared me where I am today.   Which feels like rubbing my nose in it, in a cruel manner to self.   What good does this do?  And also, is it accurate?   This is where self doubt is a good thing!

I sat with a woman yesterday who was trying to help me in one area of my life.  Tears started to fall down my face and she said “What’s wrong?”  With my eyes looking outside into the woods I said “This is not where I expected to be at this point in my life.  What have I done wrong?”   She looked at me, smiled, and kindly said “Did it ever occur to you that you are not doing anything wrong?”     Her words startled me.  “Um, NO!”     Flooding back are the words from close friends who have encouraged me through my life and the challenges, and the highs that comes with it.   Why am I so quick to blame myself for everything?   Why am I so quick to think that I am not “good enough”, something that I have learned once was the center of my being, ruling me, proving to myself and others the validity of those two words.  I am happy to say that I no longer have this belief at my core.   It still hangs around, surrounding my feelings, and there are days I can roll my eyes, push them off, and other days I begin feeling caged within them.    My girlfriend Pam has said to me on numerous occasions, “Why do you think you need anymore purpose than who you are right now?”   I don’t know.  I guess maybe I don’t!

I listen to my mother, colorful creature whose hard exterior covers a woman who has withstood much pain.  My mother is a highly intelligent woman.   At 52 I can finally see that! 🙂 ♥    Oh if I only knew half, then, of what I thought I knew now!    She is more intelligent than I am, and gives very good sound advice.    At 52 I do not hear or view her words as personal.  I listen, don’t always agree, but give her the courtesy of sharing her wisdom.   We can learn so much from our elders, from each other.  We just have to shut our mouths and open our ears, our eyes.  Something I forget to shut my mouth!  :0  We hear talk of others “he is an old soul.”   My youngest sister I would describe as an old soul.  Why?  Well, for one, she observed a lot.  Would watch with her eyes, listen with her ears and put the kibosh to blurting out whatever stupidity may have come out merely from age, lack of knowledge!   Not me, open mouth, insert foot.

So now I’m thinking back on this day of rest.  Was it a wasted day?  No, I’m healing, I need sleep to get beyond this illness.   Did I accomplish what I wanted to?  No.   Is that okay?  Yes.    Now looking back at my accomplishments I can view them with much kinder, softer eyes, perhaps even gently!    I may not like where I am today, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like myself as I do.

What does this mean?  What does this leave me with?   A choice.   Is what I do not like in my life worthy of change?  If it’s shunning me from self love, of course it is.   What, then, do I need to change?   I can, and I do, ask the advice of trusted others.   I can work through my feelings, my thoughts and get to a point where I am looking at myself reasonably, whole, not just negative or just positive boasting.   I can then pray or ask my higher power to guide me, help me to become who and what I’m supposed to become….knowledge and go about my day more open minded, more grateful, more observing than lashing, judging.  I believe many of us are our own worst critics.   I can be closed minded, judging myself unmercifully.   Does that make it true?   Ahh….. Nope!  Because feelings aren’t facts and our thoughts may not be truthful.

Here lies, then, the conundrum….   How do I decipher what I “know” (wisdom, six sense) and what I “think” I know?  Should I not listen to my inner voice warding me of peril?  Of course I should listen.   Should I not listen to my gut instinct, which is telling me to stay away from this, or that?  Of course I should listen.    I do think, however, when I start to bang myself around, subjecting myself to self judgment and loathing… perhaps I should THEN question, heed my own words.

The older I get, the more intelligent I get.  Unfortunately, however, I can’t always remember!   Ain’t maturity fun?  I am looking at life as a journey to wisdom.   I will not do everything perfect, and something I may dwell on today may become insignificant tomorrow, I may look back on things I would do differently, having given the chance… but when I start to beat the crap out of myself?  It’s time to put the stick down and walk away.  It’s useless, it’s abusive, it’s unproductive…. and chances are, I have not all the information to pass judgment on myself.   Perhaps what I am thinking is NOT fact?  That means, it is also is not knowledge.  So why do it?

I’ll leave you with the most valuable lesson I have learned ….  Life doesn’t revolve around me…. who knew?


My sixth sense….. HUMOR


Lesson #3:  Be sure to take the time to tie the laces on your Sorels (boots) before carrying your dog to poop.   Stepping out of a boot into a foot of snow is NOT fun!


“You girls get out there and pick up the table”…my father used to say every night after dinner.  So my sisters and I would go out into the kitchen, pick up the table and wait til he saw us.   We would have to take turns at who washed and who dried the dishes.    I preferred to dry because my sis would always give me back a dish and say “It’s dirty”.   Then she would turn her head and smile.   “MOM, Darlene is making me wash clean dishes!” …. My mother replied  “Well, there are worse things that could happen, Donna!”

I love my family’s sense of humor.  Every one of us, including my parents, my aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins all  have wonderful sense of humor.    My father, a kind, very gentle man would include his on his very infrequent bouts of anger.    My mother was in a particularly bossy mood one weekend.  “Do this, do that, get this done, get that done…not to just us kids but also my father.    She and I were backing out of the driveway to go get groceries and she hollered out the window of that big old Ford wagon (with grained sides) “Don’t forget to do fix Pooey’s chain!” (our black lab).   My father, with a look of disgust, with force in his voice said “Would you like me to shove a broom up my ass and sweep the floor while I’m at it?”   I will never forget that.   I was laughing so hard, turning my head so my mother couldn’t see, which was stupid because she could certainly hear me! imagesCAADX7KJ

My former fiancée had a wonderful sense of humor as well.   When I would be in a less than flattering mood he would put his finger up in the air and say “One minute, I’m going to run downstairs and see where you left your sense of humor!”

I don’t know where I would be in my life without my sense of humor.   I have learned to find humor in almost anything.  It is a coping mechanism, it is a light and airy twist to the toughest of times.    It used to be a person could be a complete jerk, but if he had a sense of humor, it was his redeeming quality.  I still laugh if a jerk is funny, but I’m not so quick to befriend him/her.  fake I sometimes think the more difficult experiences, the deeper our sense of humor grows.  This is a t-shirt my niece sent me while I was going through breast cancer.

My brother was the youngest of us five children and the only boy.   He walked into the house one day just as my sister, Karla, was explaining what a “front” was.   Honestly this girl should have been a weather reporter.   “It’s when the hot air hits the cold”…my brother walked in as she was explaining this to me and my youngest sister.  He says “Well, I just fronted then!”

I believe that to be able to laugh at another you must first be able to laugh at yourself, really laugh at yourself.   I am fairly adept at that now!  Sometimes when I’m driving or sitting in my car outside a store trying to talk myself into going in, I get to laughing at things.  I bet on more than one occasion a passerby thought I was nuts!   (No comment from the peanut gallery is necessary here!)  What is most interesting is that each of us have our own sense of humor.   monkey Some of you will not laugh at this, I think it’s hysterical!  You just have to take what you like and leave the rest! This picture was taken upstairs at the Vermont Country Store a couple years ago.  I assure you, all I did was snap a pic!

I remember one year teaching at HOOT (a decorative arts convention in Columbus Ohio).  I had a full class, 35 students I think.   I like to entertain my students in between instruction because first, I find most of us learn better in a relaxed environment, and second, it tends to keep their focus on whatever the joke or story is and fuss, worry less about their painting.   Well, I thought I was being particularly funny, and only one of two people would laugh.  A couple of minutes later there would be laughter in the room and I wanted in!  “Hey, what are you guys laughing at?”  “We just caught on to the joke you said five minutes ago!”    It has been suggested on numerous occasions that I do stand up comedy, but I couldn’t do that.   I am really good about beating myself up as it is, if I were to do comedy I wouldn’t want to target anyone but myself….  my therapist surely wouldn’t like it!

Off to give my Lilly some lovin!   That’s another thing, how humorous my animals are.   It’s fun to observe them.   Have good night, day, weekend, …..life in case I don’t see you again!  I hope today you have been able to enjoy a sixth sense…. “Humor!”

I  call this painting “Winter in New England”   imagesCAAAWH53


This blog is based purely on thoughts, feelings, emotions…reflections


Seventeen years ago tonight I had an extraordinary experience that shifted the course of my life.  It is said, when you die your life flashes before your eyes, I know this to be true.  33 years of life experiences (many of which I wouldn’t give a second thought to) appeared and departed with a nimbleness I could never believably describe. Tears that were shed, bruises and scars that were hidden below flesh and bone, kind gestures, smiles and more disclosed its relevance. My life, my purpose was playing out like a movie script, each clip taking with it the heaviness that had once filled my chest until my soul was free. A peacefulness, acceptance blanketed over me, weightless, knowing. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life.

What happened that night? Roll your eyes if you must, I am hesitant to share because I never want my memory, my experience tainted. In an interview 30 years ago, Bob Dylan warned of sharing your visions, your inert knowledge with others as they will not only discourage you but also squash what you are being guided, lead to. How easily we allow others to influence us to dark shadows.

Seventeen years ago tonight a very kind, generous, caring, intelligent man came into my life. He would be the first man ever to caress my face, my hair. He would be the first man I ever allowed to look me in the eyes. No match to God, the energy that exuded from his hands was, however, positive. So there we were, two naked souls fully dressed. If I never saw him again, it wouldn’t have altered the depth of this experience. I repeat “If I never saw him again, it wouldn’t have altered the depth of this experience”. With absence of sexual play, the truth fell into the innocence of broken, busted souls. Hope… there is nothing quite like hope.

We spent many wonderful years together. We enjoyed each others company, laughed hardily, nurtured each other. No person can fill or complete another, two “halves” don’t make a whole, two wholes do.

I wish I could tell you that we lived happily ever after, that we grew old together but that wasn’t the case. I wish I could tell you that he is alive, well, and full of life. I wish, I wish, I wish. If only he would’ve placed those warm nurturing hands on himself.

Everyday I think of him. Everyday I miss him. The sadness of reality catches me off guard at times. I still sometimes shed tears, though the majority of the time now, I smile when I think of him. I can still see those big beautiful blue eyes looking back at mine, at times I feel his presence. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that powerful spiritual experience that taught me. As I cuddle up next to the fireplace, feeling the warm penetrating heat soothe my tired body, I think back on that night 17 years ago, I smile. I laugh at his antics, I smile at the memories, and I remind myself… Everything happens for a reason. Everything happens for a reason………………

17 years ago ….

The paradox in love


“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love.”   —  Mother Teresa

I have often pulled these gentle words out as a reminder, and this morning as a companion to the truth.   Love is indeed a beautiful thing.  I believe it is one, if not THE greatest gift in our lives, in my life.  To love someone brings out the best in us.   Self centeredness and selfishness turns into a broadening of our sights, unselfishly we want to do all that we can to bring happiness, support to the person we love.  Love can transform us, can heal us, can change us.  Love is a gift, a choice, an opportunity for us to commit to someone other than ourselves.  It’s possibilities, potentials are unlimited. 

To BE loved is a beautiful thing as well.  A mothers or fathers love differs from a siblings, as does a friends, or that of a lover/spouse/partner.  I believe all are important for us to be well rounded, adjusted, accepting of true love.  Falling in love is magical, or is that lust?  I do know that if someone truly loves you their love does not wane in sickness or health.  Lust?  Probably does.  I dated a guy who I was with when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.  He brought me to my lumpectomy, dropped me off at home, I never saw him again.  I’m laughing now, at the time, not.  He was angry that I didn’t drive down to see him that weekend.  The guy did me a huge favor.  That wasn’t love, that was selfishness.  I deserved better than that.  The next week when I went for my post op exam, told my Dr what had happened she frowned and said “You would be surprised how often it happens, even in long term marriages”.  How sad.

Visiting with my cousin a few weeks ago he shared about a friend who had a back injury and the spouse left them, they didn’t want to take care of someone the rest of their life.  I just shook my head.  I have witnessed some incredibly strong and loving relationships, devotion to spouses who are sick.  Thankfully my sister had this when she took ill with Ovarian Cancer.   While I did not agree with everything that was done, I am so very grateful that she was loved and taken care of in the manner that she was.   A woman I loved very much, Linda, who was like a second  mom to me growing up died of breast cancer.  Her husband was very devoted to her throughout her whole ordeal, right to the end.  Just a couple days ago I visited with a friend who is on hospice who has a very loving and faithful, devoted husband.  She has been fighting breast cancer for 9.5 years, has had 3 other chronic illnesses for a few years longer than that.  She knows how fortunate she is to have a loving, faithful, supportive husband.    He is also fortunate to have married such an extraordinary woman.

The pain we feel when we lose someone is indescribable.  Everyone grieves differently.  For some it is too painful to speak of the person, for others it is important that they talk about them daily, look at pictures, share their memories.   What I have learned about grieving is, there is no right or wrong way to grieve unless we are hurting ourselves or someone else.  There is no escaping the pain, the only way around it is thru it.   I don’t think you ever fully get over the loss, but time helps you learn how to live with it, it becomes a bit easier.  This is now where Mother Teresa’s quote has such significant meaning to me.  I have learned that if you walk through that pain it gets better, and you get your loved one back through memories, wonderful memories.   My very sweet friend Judy said to me a couple of weeks ago “Donna, your memories are yours, no one can take them from you”.  As basic as that sounds, it helped me.  I realized I do not need anyone to validate what someone meant to me, or what I meant to them, nor do I need to justify or explain myself.  My past is mine, my memories both good and bad are mine.  I do not live in my past, it is impossible to go back in time, but I have to tell you, I have some wonderful memories of those who I have loved and lost.  Sometimes I still cry when I think about them, the missing never stops, but it sure does feel good to be able to think of  them, something stupid or comical we did and laugh, smile, and if I desire, share with someone.  Thus the paradox….then there is no hurt, only more love!