Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SHAKING IT OFF

Um, yeah I'm still here. Sorry that I haven't been posting much but....
I've been....
Depressed.
I hate to use the word but I can't think of anything else to describe my feelings.
I hate it.
I've tried to think about my favorites things.
I've tried to think about all that I'm grateful for.
I mean, who am I to be depressed?!
There are so many people in this world who have it so much worse than I.
I need to work on my Art.
Art Saves, right?
But I couldn't even think, to focus, let alone think creatively.
And writing?
How can I "write" when I can't even write a blog post?
I came home at night and did - nothing.
Truly, nothing except feed and pick up after my pets and do laundry and then... 
Nothing.
A week ago Tuesday, after our staff meeting I went back to my boarding area and cried 
and cried. I was on the verge of hysteria but then I had to run a dog up front 
and then bring back a couple and then I had two different people who stopped by 
to visit with some of the long term boarders. 
I was gulping in air and splashing cold water on my wrists and pressed cold paper towels to the back of my neck.
Then I stepped outside and took in a deep breath of air and pretended to be OK.
Meryl Streep watch out!
That night I came home, let the dogs out to potty and let them back in and sat down in my big chair
and fell asleep for two hours with my coat and shoes on.
I hadn't even fed the dogs yet!
Sigh.

It's best that I not discuss the exact source of my angst but .....
Maybe I'm too emotional and sensitive.
Maybe I should just not give a shit.
Maybe I need more SUNLIGHT.

No...it's more than that...

And yes, I have friends, both here and in the blog world who are there for me
to encourage me and tell me to
"Work on your book!"
But I was feeling beaten down and trivialized which left me
void of the ability to do anything more than exist.

There's a whole lot that I'm leaving out, but I must.
It's not that I'm trying to be mysterious.
I just trying to convey why my head and heart has been so messed up without actually giving the details.
Those of you that have been here for a while most likely can fill in the blanks anyway...
So there's where I've been
STUCK

and also two of my longtime boarding dogs,
dogs that I've taken care of for YEARS
passed away this month....so yeah, there was that too.


But I must say, Thank god for friends and the Internet
It  really helps my heart to read blog posts and escape from my own little part of the world.

I was finally able to shake it off a bit last weekend and focus a tiny bit on my Kanga book

I have it all roughly sketched out and I had someone who is an English teacher and
who wants to write her own book about grammar and punctuation, go over what I had written.
I chewed on my pinky nail and paced behind her.
I stopped each time when she uttered an "Ohhh, that's sweet".
She said she really liked my story and she only had to add a few commas. 
That made me so bold as to share some of my ideas about my illustrations and said she thought they sounded "cool".
That helped my psyche some.


and then I got some nudges from a dear friend that I have never met and
I worked on it some more.
I've been trying to be upbeat and focused
and then one of my close friends had one of her dogs have a major health emergency.
It's still not certain how things will go, it's kinda of a wait and see and pray thing.
So I need to be grateful for the health of my gang
and not let people wound me so deeply and not worry so much. 


Then today I had breakfast with my very bestest of friends.

She is like a sister to me and her eyes filled with tears to hear how down I've been.
We talked about so many things and she knows me so well.
She helped me figure out what to let go,
what not to pursue and
what to pursue with all my heart.

She had just returned from a big buying trip at the Atlanta Home, Gift, Apparel Trade show
and she said as she was being shown things by vendors she kept thinking of me.
She said it reminded her of my work and she wished she was buying my creations.
So I asked her if she thought I should make this or that or....
She interrupted and said she thought I should create whatever made me happy.

Then told her that I think I know what was blocking me from finishing this book.
I think it's because I so badly want this to be the answer to my problems
and if I finish it and then it flops ....well, there goes what could be,
my only hope.
She just smiled and said "You can do it".
I told her that I have blogger friends that have been encouraging me and have faith in me
and several co-workers have been cheering me on and she said
"You can do it"
and damn it, I will!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

HOW WAS YOUR CHRISTMAS?

I was sick this Christmas but then a lot of people were.
Seems like absolutely everyone is ill.
But I had a good Christmas anyway!
As I've said in the past, I love handmade gifts and this year
my niece Lily made me something that when I opened the box I had to struggle really hard to keep it together.
But as hard as I tried, I couldn't help but cry.
But it was happy tears.
She made me a sculpture of BLUE!
She captured him perfectly.

She got his coloring and markings perfect.
And all of his little lumps and bumps.

She even made a black chair and footstool for him.
Just like my sofa and chair.

and....
while, I do adore handmade
my sister surprised me with a flat screen!
I had been watching TV on a very small screen
ever since they went digital.
What was that, 7 years ago or something?
I must say, I LOVE it.
Suddenly people on TV have pores and wrinkles!
I don't know why but that makes me so happy!

and finally.
as I already have said,
I was sick on Christmas.
But very early in the morning I woke up
and got very ill.
After quite a while I crawled back into bed 
and slept in much later than I usually do!
In fact when I woke up the sunlight was streaming in the window.
I opened my eyes and to my surprise this is what I saw -

I keep my phone on the ledge above my bed
it's my alarm
and if someone needs to call, it's within reach.
So I slowly took it off the ledge and took that photo.
Quite the surprise,
I mean sometimes he sneaks up on the bottom of the bed during the night
but he has NEVER gotten up next to me like this.
I kinda feel like he knew I was sick
and was watching over me.
Yep, a very good Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

All You Need is Love.

I've had Good Christmases and Great Christmas and not so Happy Christmases and a couple of Awful Christmases
and I've finally have come to realize that
all the decorations and shopping for gifts and gorging on cookies
and a little bit of snow
makes for a Nice Holiday but really...
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE.

  Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

CHANGING MY WAYS

I realize that this post reads like a New Years post but....
I need to make some changes.
Life changes, not just resolutions.
I need to figure out how much sleep I need to be getting at night and I need to start getting it.
I need to start eating healthier and stop all the sugar and fast food.

I'm exhausted and I feel dizzy a lot of the time and it's because I'm running on empty and filling my tank with junk.
I have too many projects going at once that I'm ending up failing at them all.

And... one of my busiest times of the year at work is just days away.
I need to figure out a schedule that fits MY life.

I have a friend who gets up at 4 each morning and gets breakfast for her husband as he heads off to work.
Then she washes up the dishes and tidies the house. She says she can't stand to come home to a dirty house.
She's always pulled together and dresses stylishly.

She budgets her money carefully.
She plans out a menu plan for a MONTH in advance and shops and hunts down bargains.
She holds down a very creative but also very physical job and even puts in overtime.
She meets a group of retired people she knows for breakfast once a week
and she meets me for breakfast every other week
and she goes to her parents home one day a week before work and cleans their house.
She runs errands for them and takes them to the doctors for appointments and such.
She plans and prepares everyone's birthday/anniversary/holiday party
and most nights she goes to bed by 8.

Time management.
She's got it down pat.
It's true that she doesn't have any pets now
and she doesn't have any Art projects going
and she's doesn't get on the computer hardly EVER...

So, OK. We have different priorities but
she's working it out
and I'm just burning out.
So...
I need to get some sleep now
so that I can figure this out with a clear head.
Figure out a sleep schedule
A schedule to work on things that are important to me
Figure out a money budget
and start eating right and prepare ahead....
And....just to start feeling good again and
Happy.
Wish me Luck!
xo

Sunday, December 7, 2014

BLUE and SANTA (Santa's helper)

So....
I've been dealing with some stuff by stress eating and doing nothing but watching TV after I get home from work at night.
I just sit in my big chair and read Facebook, Instagram and blogs (and being too brain dead to comment) on my iPhone
while the Boob Tube is on.
Then one night on Facebook someone sent a post to my niece Lily about Santa.
THAT peaked my interest.
So Lily and I made a plan to go see him.
The four of us drove over to the Garden Center where he was at.
The four being Lily, her little dog Lucius and me and Blue.

(sidenote: Lily loves the Batman movies and Batman's faithful friend and helper was named Lucius Fox played by Morgan Freeman).

When we arrived the parking lot was dark and almost empty, yet Blue was full of excitement.
He jumped out of the van and "bounced" up and down.
When we went into the Garden Center, he started to gallop at the end of his leash through the store.
Workers called out to him and I remembered to tell them that he's deaf.
I always forget that.
They asked if they could give him treats and I laughed and said Yes!
He happily gobbled them up.
He was having SO MUCH FUN.
Lily spied where Santa was and she carried Lucius in that direction
as Blue loped behind her.
Blue saw Santa and...
had no reaction.
I lead him up to him and I don't think it was really Santa.
There was no, "Ho Ho Ho"
and no offer to hold Blue in his lap.
Yeah, must have been a "helper".

Now I don't view myself as a bossy person, unless we are talking about Blue.
Santa (Santa's helper) limply held his leash.
I turned around and it didn't look right to me so I asked the girl photographer to "Wait!"
I looped up the leash a bit and asked "Santa" to hold it HERE.
The photographer started to make some noises to get Blue's attention and I didn't even bother explaining.
Instead me and Lily just held up and waved around some treats.

After Blue's photo shoot, Lucius got his picture taken too.
Lily had to lay him in Santa's helper's lap and she called out to him.
He was terrified but it ended up as a great photo.
(Sadly I don't have that available to share right now. I need to get a copy from Lily)

Then we paid the girl and Blue followed Lucius and Lily back out
galloping all the way except for the faction of a second when he swiped a pig ear in a quick swoop
from an end display rack.
Luckily I saw it and quickly swooped it right back to the basket.

A few days ago the photos came in.
They turned out better than I thought.

I'm happy and
I think I need to take Blue on more little adventures.
He enjoyed that one so much!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

THANKSGIVING

I love this commercial.
So many times commercials kinda annoy me.
Like the one with the kid blowing bubbles with his straw into his chocolate milk and his little brother is laughing
and the mom happily chuckles and pulls out the paper towels and merrily wipes up the mess.
Come on!
I can almost hear the average mom yelling to stop making a mess! and throwing the roll of paper towels at the kid.
Yep. Makes me NOT want to buy whatever brand it was.

But THIS commercial I like.


The table is set in an apparent attempt to be pretty and simple.
But then they run out of plates and have to use vacation plates
and odd assortment of mugs.
I love it.

I, like probably most people in the blog world, lust after a beautifully set table.
The perfect decorations arranged around the house with a fire crackling in the fireplace in the background.
Music softly playing as fashionably dressed guests arrive through the snow in a sleigh.

But what I love about this commercial is the fact that all THAT doesn't REALLY matter.
It's just having family and friends gathered together and being thankful
and not having a bunch of hard to clean dirty dishes.
 
I'm going to my sisters home today for Thanksgiving dinner.
It will be her family plus a couple of my nieces boyfriends and
my step-mom and her husband.
A Modern family.

It's started to snow and I know that they will have a fire going.
Her home is usually eclectically decorated.
Picture frames will have been changed out and photos of past Thanksgiving in them instead.
Her umbrella stand usually holds an umbrella or two but also some random weird stick that she's found on a walk,
that she found to be "cool" and next to that will be a rug for shoes.
Well, I assume there's a rug but it's always piled high with everyone's shoes.

My brother-in-law will be frantically running around fixing the dinner
and my sister will slowly, calmly find whatever he needs in the utensil drawer or pantry.
Kind of a Ying and Yang, those two.

So I expect dinner to be nice
as long as no one brings up politics.
If someone does, there will be a war.

But it should be nice day
and in the evening, my sister will get ready to go to work at the hospital
and my brother in law will spread out the Black Friday ads on the dining room table
and ask her if there's something he needs to go out and get.
She will say "not really", but then point out a few things anyway
and then he will probably go out, much later because there's a department store that every year, late at night
for just a couple of hours, sells big huge thick dog beds
and their dog needs to have a new bed on Xmas.

Finally I will say I must leave because I need to let my dogs out
and they will say to come back after
but I'll remind them I have to be up early because the kennel is full at work.
So they will fix me a plate for dinner the next night and add a slice of pie.

I'll drive home through the snow covered streets
and faintly smile because everyone has now switched on their Christmas lights
and even though there are things going on in my life that I'm not happy about,
I will pull into my drive
and then open the front door to the chorus of my dogs.
I will let them outside and watched them through the window as they leap through the snow
and eat my slice of pie
and I will give Thanks and be Grateful.