mmmmmm
I've put Scones and Crones on haitus for a bit, so click here: http://studioatlillehus.blogspot.com
and I'll see you on my other blog, okay?

See you there! And let me know if you visit, okay?


18.12.07

A Christmas House Tour!

I should have gone to bed much earlier, but I stayed up to take some photos of the rooms decorated for the holidays. The yellow walls just seem to glow with the Christmas lights!

I love our tree! I didn't plan it, but I realized last year that all the ornaments have to do with life and growth; birds, flowers, bees, eggs...with a number of stars and crosses, too.
(Click on the pictures to enlarge - some take a bit longer to load than others.)



This is one of the pansy ornaments my mom gave Emily one year. They are from Wintethur.



The view from my place at the dining room table; to the right is the front door and stairs and, to the left, the music room and living room.



The music room looks so bright and cozy at Christmas!



I love my snowmen who dance on the mantel!



A bit blurry, but the front stairs are decorated, too.



I love this bench in the foyer that my mother-in-law gave us. (Just got the pillows on sale!)



The dining room mantel. The walls are painted with Laura Ashley's Sapphire #5.



The Mariner Santa on a chest in the music room where I have seascapes and nautical things.

Hope you enjoyed the tour! Merry Christmas!

17.12.07

Jake has been in seventh heaven the past few days. He can hardly believe his "find" after the recent ice storm; Pup-cicles! A stick covered with ice! Two of his favorite things combined in one! You could just see him thinking, "ARF! There IS a God!!!!"

Waiting to go out...again???? "For Pup-cicles, Mom!!!!"

12.12.07

Who knew I'd ever get a kick out of doing cartoon? But this fun! (Click on the 'toon to enlarge..)

11.12.07

So my poor mama tripped over a footstool whilst decorating her Christmas tree and landed on her knee. Only trouble is she heard a loud C-R-A-C-K in her leg just shortly after touching knee to floor. Apparently she did quite a good job of breaking her femur and now sports the addition of a titanium rod inserted down the center of said femur from hip to knee. OUCH. Always has to out-do her youngest daughter! The pitiful steel plate and screws in my ankle seem pretty piddly compared to a Titanium Rod for heaven's sake! She's home now and doing well and we're all very, very grateful for her good health and spunky attitude. Anyhoo, I thought of this cartoon the night she fell. If you click on the image it will grow to a readable size:

29.11.07

I can get rather full of myself at times. Then I remember this poem by Hafiz that The Wise Imp (my description) in the form of Seena B. Frost read to us when I was in facilitator training this past October. And I remember that, much to my chagrin, my ten thousand idiots are quite alive - thriving even - inside me...

Ten Thousand Idiots

It is always a danger
to aspirants
on the
Path

When they begin
To believe and
Act

As if the ten thousand idiots
Who so long ruled
And lived
Inside

Have all packed their bags
And skipped town
Or
Died

27.11.07

Introducing Bennett Michael Huddle - the first member of the next generation of my family! Ben is my sister's first grandchild and the son of my nephew Michael and his wife Poy. They were so nice to let me hold Ben even when I wasn't sure I'd give him back! What a lucky little boy to be born into our family and to be soooo wanted and soooo loved! He was definitely on my Things I'm Grateful For list on Thanksgiving!

18.11.07

handmade=heartmade
I took the HANDMADE pledge.

16.11.07


Today I'm grateful that the sky is blue. The past few days have been gray and heavy; a good match for my mood. But as I came to work this morning, the sky had cleared enough to expose an oval patch of blue. It's contrast to the white cloud that floated in front of it made the blue seem all the more, well, blue...

What a happy, uplifting color - I felt my mood lighten immediately. So today I'm grateful that the sky is blue. Aubergine just wouldn't work as well...

13.11.07

I've been having fun in my studio! I've challenged myself to design some jewelry that looks substantial but is actually very lightweight. So I've been working with archival foam core board as a base and going from there. The first and the last images are of pendants to be hung from black silicone cord. The middle image is a pin. I'm still developing/refining my technique so that the craftsmanship equals the design. Eventually these will be items I will sell on Etsy.



10.11.07

I'm letting this image speak to me today - it's one of the first SoulCollage cards I made. Today she is telling me "I am the one who heals those who seek healing."


9.11.07

Recently I rediscovered this picture of my family taken in my grandparent's yard on Easter in 1952. I'm the little one with the bonnet...and it was just before my second birthday.

I was blessed to have a wonderful family and a happy childhood...and I continue to be blessed by their love and support.


7.11.07

Lately I've been thinking a lot (maybe too much?) about the butterflies a friend wants me to paint on her Reiki treatment room. I had butterflies in my tummy after I ate breakfast. Wonder why?

5.11.07

Busy. Happy. Busy! Happy!

I've been busy completing a commission for 1300 holiday cards. Picked up the cards at the printer's today and they look great! Now if the envelopes will just come in I can get the whole order shipped out and forward the invoice: cha-ching! This will be the seed money for the SoulCollage workshops I will start facilitating after the new year... another venture that HAS to have it's own web presence, right? Right! So...piece X piece is the name and here it is!

I'm still adding to each page so please bear with me while I work on it. The banner image is a part of one of my SoulCollage cards; The Divine Child. Such a funny, happy little card - just as I picture a divine child... I think I'll use it on flyers and other printed materials I'll need. I'm considering having postcards made - to stick up on bulletin boards, but also to send out as I develop a mailing list.

Hmmm...lots to think about, but even more to do to get all this up and running. I'm also developing ideas for work to put on Etsy...trying to focus...hard to do! Have no intention of getting anything up before the holidays. So be it. I want it to be great! And I want it all to have a complete look and be really special right down to the design of the packaging. I love all the details!

And has anyone else noticed that Christmas is nearing at an incredible clip???? YIKES!

Busy. Happy. Busy! Happy! A good way to spend a life...

1.11.07

The rest of the story...(which began with my 29 October entry...)
I actually put it together as a little movie titled Bob. The Movie. but I'm afraid to link to it since I used music with it and I don't want to be sued for heaven's sake!






30.10.07

The story continues...

29.10.07

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

(Joan brought in a pumpkin to decorate the department office. I was asked to draw a face on it and Bob was born!)

26.10.07

In Which the Little House With the Red Door Dreams of What She Might Yet Become...

24.10.07

The sky is dark gray and low today.

A chilling rain is falling.

Circles of fallen neon yellow leaves give the illusion of the sun having broken through; shining in places normally dark with dense shadow.

It feels as if the world has turned upside down.

Perhaps it has.

12.10.07

So...(drumroll, please!) the new logo for my business ventures:


Check out how it looks on my ETSY shop that I will fill with wonderful things to purchase that will cheer the heart and delight the senses! Will take a while to get it up and going, but I needed to set it up so I could have the address ready for the back of some holiday cards I've been commissioned to do. One thing leads to another...

10.10.07

More from my weekend away... inspired by one of my favorite artists, Andy Goldsworthy. His work is magical!



9.10.07

From my weekend away... along the Severn River in Millersville, MD.
I walked down to the river in the early, early morning.
It was so wonderfully quiet and still and gray.



4.10.07

I'm taping this to my forehead!


You'll go a lot further if you show up and make mistakes than you will if you try to get things right before you start. - Molly Gordon

To consider...


Do not be too quick to assume your enemy is a savage just because he is
your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy because he thinks you are a savage. Or perhaps he is afraid of you because he feels that you are afraid of him. And perhaps if he believed you are capable of loving him he would no longer be your enemy.

- Thomas Merton, writer (1915-1968)

2.10.07

And Another...

Of Magic Doors #4

This was a reflection - the wall was red and very shiny - the blue line was actually a chrome strip. I like the grid that appears, making multiple "doors". I'd like to have this printed on a large format printer - 40" tall by whatever the width would be - and pin it to the deep orange wall in my office...

1.10.07

A New Series...

I've started a new series based on some architectural photographs I took in Canada a couple of years ago, and a quotation, by an unknown author, that I've always loved : "Of magic doors there is this: you do not see them even as you are passing through."


Of Magic Doors #1



Of Magic Doors #2



Of Magic Doors #3


25.9.07

A quiet anniversary...

Today it has been 4 years and two days since I had my decompression surgery for a Chiari I Malformation.

Just as the malformation was "hidden" for 25 years, so are the changes that I have rejoiced in since the surgery; I appeared well before but I am well now. I know that the surgery was not a cure - I will always have the malformation - but I'm grateful that the surgery has, for the most part, alleviated my symptoms.

Today I am grateful for the gift of good health; of a life free from the horrid "bombs" going off in my head, free from numbness, free from dizziness and falls.

Life is good. I embrace the quiet solitude of my celebration and journey on...

20.9.07

But, but, butt...

When I'm Queen #4:

My tush, the mushy cush upon which I, the Broad with the Beautimus Botto, sit whilst on the Throne (and the throne as well..), will be the envy of all, and it's dimpled-ness the inspiration of both Artist and Bard. To assist their expressions of awe and admiration for my Most Amazing Ass (how crass!) I offer the following:

When I'm Queen #5:
There will be a new Crayola crayon made: Perfectly Portly Bottom Pink

and:

When I'm Queen #6:
"Lush" and "tush" will rhyme. Somehow. I command it!

That's it for now.
Queenie out.

17.9.07

Getting to the, ah, bottom of things...

So....

What does it mean when you are constantly comparing the size of your rear to the rears of the - um - "stout" women you see?

It means that :

1. Yes. Your rear is indeed as big as hers and (gasp) maybe even bigger. No kidding.

2. Uh-huh. You guessed it. It's time to decrease the calories, and increase the thing that starts with "E". Not Eeeeeek. E-x-e-r-c-i-s-e.

3. You'd do well to put the focus on your rear. Not hers. Focusing on yours should be a full time job considering the ampleness of what's following you. Just sayin'...

4. Everything looks smaller in the rear view mirror. Except the rear you're viewing.

That would be yours, Karen Anne.

Damn.

11.9.07

From a tree hugger...

Fall is on it's way!

There are two massive maple trees that stand sentinel in the front yards of two equally massive (and grand) old victorian homes (one is a bed and breakfast) on W. Main Street in Mechanicsburg, PA. I've noticed, over the past 10 years, that they are the harbingers of fall; their leaves the first to turn scarlet as summer wanes.

As I drove by the other day I noticed their transformation has begun; their leaves newly flushed with change.

Soon all the trees in our area will follow suit, and I'll take my annual Tour of the Trees to see my favorites - each year seems more spectacular than the last.

I hope, as I enter the fall of my life, to follow the example of the maple trees; allowing the full rich green of summer to turn gracefully into a vibrant, glowing fall.

Okay, okay, so maybe that's a wee bit dramatic. Feel free to join hands and start singing "The Circle of Life".

But you get what I'm saying, right?

Good.

3.9.07

A reason to laugh...

So I mentioned something about being 57 years old.

He looked at me. "57? Really? You don't look a day over 50!"

"Thank you."

THANK YOU?!?!?!?!?

Note to men: if you are stretching the truth, stretch it into the high 40's, okay?

28.8.07

Growing pains...

Classes started yesterday and we have our first department meeting of the year at lunch today.

It has begun...but what that it is I'm not exactly sure.

It feels like the beginning of a transition. A whole mix of emotions; wanting to be here while also wanting, desperately at times, to be elsewhere. Wanting to keep things they way they've been while yearning, and needing, to do something new.

It's a funny thing being 57. I feel young enough to start a whole new chapter, but I'm also keenly aware that this chapter is most certainly in the last half of the book.

The heroine might do well to seriously consider just exactly what it is she wants to do when she grows up. Before it's too late. Before her choices become limited. Before she loses the courage to become the best and brightest version of herself.

20.8.07

And so it goes...

Back at work today after my two month summer break.

Trying to be adult about it.

Trying to be professional.

Trying to try...

It ain't easy. At all.

17.8.07

When I'm Queen...#3

...Everyone in my kingdom will know that if you have shutters on your home they should either really work (much preferred) or, at the very least, they should look like they would work for heaven's sake!

The Window Shutter Formula: The width of each shutter should equal 1/2 the width of the window opening.

The queen shutters when she sees those teensy skinny plastic things framing too big windows.

She shutters...get it?

16.8.07

When I'm Queen...#2

And you know those cutsie white screen doors with the scallops around the screen and the faux wood crossbars below???

Banned. Gonzo. Vamooshed from the kingdom!

13.8.07

When I'm Queen....#1

When I'm Queen, all houses built after I'm crowned will have hidden garages. They will be either on the side or the back of the house.

Regardless of where they are, but especially if they are in the front, garages will be painted the same color as the siding of the house. If the house is brick, or stone, or timber, the color of the garage will be selected to make the garage disappear as much as possible. The garage will NEVER be painted the trim color. To wit: A garage is not trim. It is a huge gapping hole covered by an equally huge door.

Anyone who feels the urge to paint their garage the color of the house trim and/or apply any sort of decoration to it (like huge black diamonds on a white garage door) will be banned from the kingdom immediately.

Got it?

Good. I feel much better now.

5.8.07

Welcome little one!


I'm now a Great- aunt! This is Bennett Michael Huddle, the newest member of our family! Are we lucky or what?!?!?!

1.8.07

Oh for heaven's sake...

I planted nasturtium seeds in all my urns where I also have white petunias and creeping jenny growing beautifully and abundantly. The nasturtiums took their ever lovin' time sprouting, but have finally produced their first orange blossoms. Not quite what I had envisioned, however. There is exactly one blossom per urn. One teensy-weensy orange flower. So that makes a total of 5 nasturtiums with nary a sign of any more to come.

It looks ridiculous.


It's not at all the gleeful tumbles of playful yellow and orange flowers falling all over themselves and the edges of the urns that I had envisioned when I carefully placed the hard, round little seeds in the soil. I was so hopeful. Soooo hopeful!

Poop.

The Quints, as I've taken to calling them, seem to delight in my dismay; mocking me while they happily flaunt their discounting of my Highly Refined Landscaping Design Aesthetic. And they know what a sucker I am. They know how optimistic I am and that I'll let them stay in the hope that my vision will eventually be realized.

I think I'm doomed.

Damned orange little twits...

27.7.07

And I grew it myself!

Let's hear it for the joyous perkiness of a perfectly round, bright red cherry tomato wearing it's little green stem-hat! Applause! Applause!

26.7.07

Just once...

The guest room saga continues. Is it crass to compare the entire project to the birthing process? I don't care. I feel like I'm in transition. I wanna PUSH already, but noooooooo...

I have to put a second coat of paint on the walls. Then vacuum the floor. We have to hang the chandelier. (Which was going to be a fan. But those are so...I don't know. I wanted the chadelier instead. It's pretty!) Then patch the big gaps in the floor with wood putty and let it dry. I suppose I could start putting on the trim paint while the floor stuff dries, huh? (Yes, I already primed the trim for whatever good THAT does...) And then: Saturday we can rent the ezVSander at Lowes and sand, sand, sand. Any bets on whether or not the sander "eliminates over 97% of airborne dust" like it says it will in the brochure? Hmmm. Me neither. But it's got to be less dusty than the wallpaper was coming down. I'm still blowing that stuff out of my nose for heaven' sake.

And then we can start putting the oil-based finish on. 3-4 coats. And maybe it will dry sometime in my lifetime because it HAS to because the "do-it" guy (Charlie) is coming next Thursday to install the sink and faucet and two electrical outlets. And then we'll patch and prime and paint the wall where he has to tear it up. After we clean up the dust he'll make. Geez.

And then maybe in another lifetime I can do the FUN stuff like make the dust ruffle and curtains and strip and paint the iron bed - careful this time not to paint over the brass that I will have painstakingly exposed. And then just watch. Someone will want to come stay! In. The. Guest Room. Which means I'll have to clean the REST of the house and figure out what to make for dinner. Geez Louise!

I'm not normally this grumpy. Honest. But I really want this room redo OVER for gosh sakes.

"I WANT THE DRUGS NOW!!!!! WHAT???? WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S TOO LATE FOR AN EPIDURAL AND I'LL JUST HAVE TO DEAL????? ARE YOU SURE THIS IS WORTH IT?????"

Okay. Maybe I'm being a bit over-dramatic.

But once - just once - I'd like to be able to actually paint a room with one coat like the can promises I can.

I consider myself an expert of sorts when it comes to giving birth. Did it twice. One regular, one C-Section. Both hurt less than this guest room thing. Really!

Maybe I'd feel differently if I had been 57 when I gave birth...

Ya think?

Oh - and please know you're welcome to come stay in the guest room any time! Just be lavish with the ooohs and aaaahs. And make the bed.

24.7.07

Just sayin'...

The guest room is coming along. Wallpaper is peeled, walls washed and rinsed, holes filled, skim coat of joint compound on. Today we lightly sand the woodwork and prime everything so m-a-a-a-a-y-be tomorrow we can paint the ceiling, hang the fan and maybe even paint the walls. After the walls and trim are finished we can rent the sander and go after the floors.( This IS the right order in case you're worried.)

In the midst of all this, we decided we'd put a sink in the corner - very European, no? - since we already had hot and cold water there from when we mistakenly had the washer and dryer installed upstairs (the agitation of the washer made the entire house shake and shimmy..scary!). So I thought it would be fun to have a one of the vessel sinks you see in all the decorating mags. Well geez. The least expensive one I found was $98, but when you figure in the cost of the stand to put it on AND the special faucet it needed, the cost was prohibitive. I'd rather eat and finish putting my kids through college. I'm funny that way...

Take a look at all the options for vessel sinks at Home Depot sometime. Most are in the $300-600 range. Sure they are pretty and a change from the ordinary sinks most of us have. But what are they really???

Fancy $20 salad bowls with 1.5" holes in the bottom for heaven's sake...

We're going with the pedestal sink for $88. Like you'd find in an out- of -the way B and B in, say, the Scottish Highlands. White. Affordable. Quaint.

Now we just need to find an equally affordable plumber. Preferably one without the quaint plumber's crack. Unless, of course, he looks and sounds like Sean Connery.

Just sayin'...

17.7.07

Laughing till it hurts...

So my sister says, "She was spending money like a fish!"

"Like a fish?" I asked. "What does that mean? Is that right?"

"Yes it's right! I've always said that - spending money like a fish!"

We looked at each other in mutual disbelief. (Or maybe it was more like her looking perturbed and me looking perplexed. Whatever...)

She's the big sister, though, and what do I know?

On the drive back home it hit me: it's "drinking like a fish" and "spending money like there's no tomorrow."

Lordie, lordie, lordie - I thought I'd pass out I was laughing so hard; tears streaming and guffaws punctuated by intermittent snorts. I don't know which struck me as funnier; the idea of a fish spending money or the fact that she was so indignant when I questioned her use of the phrase...

Oh me oh my. Laughter is sooo good for the soul. And having a sister - especially one like mine - is a joy!

(Hey, Krissie: wanna go fishing??!!?!?!?)

16.7.07

Delicious anticipation...

We got back this afternoon after 4 days in Norfolk visiting family. The visit included: eating, sailing, eating, shopping, eating, sleeping, eating...a good visit for sure!

The bed at my sister's was comfortable, but the closer we got to our home, the more I relished the idea of climbing into our new bed; a Sleep Number. The 7000 model. With the foundation that lets us move the head up and the feet up - individually or at the same time. And it will even vibrate just your feet or just your head or both or in a WAVE for heaven's sake. Way cool. W-a-a-a-y cool! (I'm a 40 by the way. Dean's a 50.)

Anyway, I'm near giddy with the delicious anticipation that has been building all evening. As soon as I type the last character on this post, I'm off to sink into glorious, luxurious, deep, deep sleep. My way. The number 40 way. Aaaaah.

How did I ever manage without this bed? You wanna know how good it is??? It's so good I haven't lost one minute of sleep worrying about how much it cost. And, considering it cost over twice as much as my first brand new car cost in 1973 (a pale blue VW Super Beetle I named Oliver) that's Pretty Darn Good!!!

G'night, all!

10.7.07

The Tenacity of...

Wallpaper.

Four layers.

The first was easily removed and revealed the second and third that were bonded together. A thick, cardboard-like brownness. Very dry. It came off zippity-do; extremely satisfying. Extremely dusty. Once it was off we were left with: The Gray Challenge. An extremely ugly gray wallpaper probably put up in the late 1860's. It wanted to Stay Put.

But it's finally off and we have the plaster walls to prove it.

And the blisters.

OUCH!

30.6.07

On waiting...

"Study the cycles of Mother Nature, the garden whispers, for they correspond with your soul's growth. Quiet your mind. Rope in the restlessness. Be here. Learn to labor. Learn to wait. Learn to wait expectantly."

-
Sarah Ban Breathnach in Simple Abundance

The Devil is in the details...

Tonight in the cozy living room of our Carlisle home where Dean and I were watching The Devil Wears Prada...

Me: "OMIGOD! Look! Miranda is sitting in the room featured in the May 2006 issue of Elle Decor - in the Manhattan townhouse designed by William Diamond and Anthony Baratta! It was the one where they found their style undergoing a subtle transformation; much more toned down then most of their previous work. The woman decided on them after thinking about it for 15 years - and she wanted blue - lots of blue. Look! See? The rug that was inspired by Frank Stella's paintings! Oh, where's that magazine??? I was just looking at it yesterday... And there's the Alexander Calder mobile in the living room! Whoo-ha! It's that home - it is!!! Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!! And here it is: the magazine to prove it! Seeeeeee????? HA!!! I knew it!!!"

Dean: "You're weird..."

25.6.07

Little miracles...

Is there anything more magical than fireflies making the garden sparkle at night???

23.6.07

Saturday morning...

I'm sitting in a wicker chair in my garden sipping an orange cappucino with buddy Jake at my feet. The fountains are gurgling, and the trees high above me are swaying gently, making the sound of the ocean's waves. My fairy roses are in full bloom and the whole garden is a verdant wonderland.

Dean is out for the day; helping build a Habitat for Humanity home with others from our church. Emily is in New Hampshire and driving to explore a beach in Maine with friends. Megan is packing and readying herself to depart her beloved Edinburgh in a few days; having coffee with friends, dinners with friends, drinks with friends. Tuesday evening I'll burst into tears when she walks through the door... homecomings always do that to me.

Life is precious and this morning I'm savoring it.

Chores can wait!

21.6.07

Wonder...

"I feel that I should walk to the beach and randomly select a grain of sand. That grain I should enshrine at home and call my god. In its impenetrable complexity, there is surely enough to fill my mind with wonder."
- from Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund

15.6.07

Full of myself...

This old Zen story was recounted on Spirituality and Practice and I wanted to post it here as a reminder to myself to be more open to others:


A university professor goes to have tea with a teacher. The teacher pours the visitor's cup full and then keeps on pouring. The professor watches the overflow until he can no longer restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

The teacher responds: "Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"


Hmmm...puts a new slant on "My cup runneth over", huh?

I need to think about that today...

13.6.07

I carry the ocean within me...

The other day I was thinking about how surprising it is that I am so content living away from the shore. I've always been drawn to the sound of water lapping, of waves breaking...

When we lived in Gurnee, Illinois I felt so landlocked. One summer day, when I thought I simply couldn't take it any more, I packed a picnic lunch, whisked up the girls, and drove to an isolated spot on the shore of Lake Michigan. We ate our lunches listening to the water as it tickled the rocks on the shore. Lake Michigan is so vast that it was as if we were sitting by the ocean. We closed our eyes and pretended we were...

The gods must have sensed my needs, because several months later we moved to Hawaii. There, as the lazy Sunday afternoon progressed to early evening, we'd pile into the car and drive to Makaha to watch the orange beachball of sun as it dropped behind the horizon. As it touched the water and disappeared, we thought we could hear its angry hiss as it was snuffed out. Then, as the darkness enveloped us, we would snuggle close to each other and listen to the voice of the ocean, mesmerized by it's soothing rhythm. The coming in and the going out of the waves and the tides, as eternal as a mother's love, rocked us into a luscious peacefulness. The perfect ending to another perfect day.

Now I live in a beautiful little town in central Pennsylvania. I carry the ocean within me. But as I sit outside in my garden listening to the wind rustle the leaves far above my wicker perch, I'm struck by how equally soothing and satisfying that sound is to me now. Where did this breeze start? From what distant land? Did it start as a butterfly unfurled its wings for the first time? Or is it from the breath of distant lovers as they blew kisses to each other?

My restlessness is lessening as I embrace the person I've become. Where once only the waves could satisfy my soul, now, as the wind carries my imagination, I'm content to be wherever I am; each day more fully aware of my part in the ebb and flow of life.

7.6.07

Giving up...

I've been taking a truly wonderful e-course offered by the folks at spirtualityandpractice.com: Practicing Spirituality with Pema Chodron. The other day the lesson focused on the lojong slogan that I had also chosen to concentrate on for the duration of the course (40 days): Abandon any hope of fruition. Sounds bleak, huh? But - it is freeing! The lesson related that another way of saying the slogan would be: "Give up all hope," or "Give up" or just "Give."

The "giving up" resonated with me because I read it as giving UP - as in giving my worries and concerns about the past and the future up... to God.

When I can manage to do that I feel an abundance of peace and am able to concentrate on what is right before me. Pretty amazing considering I'm usually concerned about what will happen 6 months from now...

I was reminded of the lesson my flight instructor taught me when I was over-controlling the little Cessna I was learning to fly. He said quietly "Let go of the controls." I thought he was nuts and told him so, but he repeated "Let go of the controls." So I did and was amazed at what happened. All on its own the plane found the level flight I had been struggling to maintain. Found it quickly and easily...just like that!


I can't fix the past. I can't control the future. But by "giving up", I am free to receive the grace that comes from being in the present.

Fully. With immense and joyful gratitude...

31.5.07

And all will be well...

I wish there was a way that merely thinking about this blog would transform my thoughts into typed words that would appear here...but alas such is not the case. I've been gone too long.

Life intervenes and keeps us from the promises we make to ourselves. We all too often put ourselves at the bottom of our "to do" lists. Illness knocks on our door and escorts us to bed and we find it easy to stay there - in spirit at least - long after we are recovered. But eventually we get back up and drag ourselves back into Life, dutifully noting that it has continued right on schedule without us...

And what am I doing when I'm "away"?

Breathing out and breathing in.
Practicing Reiki.
Practicing tonglen meditation.
Trying to get out of my way.
Trying to keep the promises I've made to myself.


The nice thing about being my age is the comfort that comes from knowing that my life - and my breathing- mimics the tides. In and out, out and in. Things, thoughts, people, ideas... they come and then go. Feelings ebb and flow. All is as it should be and each moment is perfect if I just acknowledge it as so. Each moment is a gift.

And I know with a deep certainty that "all will be well"... I'm back!

p.s. my roses are blooming and they are beautiful!!!

21.5.07

Just for today...

May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I awaken to the nature of my true being.
May I be healed.
May I be a source of healing to all living things.
- Joan Borysenko in Pocketful of Miracles


16.5.07

I love this...

You, the one
From whom on different paths
All of us have come.
To Whom on different paths
All of us are going.
Make strong in our hearts what unites us.
-- Brother David Steindl-Rast quoted in God Has No Religion by Frances Sheridan Goulart

7.5.07

On dandelions...

Dandelion Energy

The dandelions are having a field day in my garden, and, truth to tell, I love their perseverance and joyous abundance. One could do worse than follow their example. They bloom where they are planted - betwixt and between rocks, in the middle of flowers beds (well, they are flowers!) - anywhere they happen to fall in their teensy seed state. And what a sense of humor! They snuggle up next to my prized plantings and challenge me to figure out how to loosen THEM without doing harm to their bed mates.

I went around last week digging them up while they displayed their cheerful yellowness, convinced I was beating them at their game of Go Forth and Multiple. How is it that I never noticed that just because you pluck them as blossoms, they don't die as such? No! They transform themselves into a fluffy afterlife even as they lie tossed in a heap where I left them to die...and with the first gentle breeze they are off to be born again.

I think that I will bow to their insistence and acknowledge them as full, contributing members of my garden - just as I have with the wild violets that paint my garden a vibrant purple. They thrive without any help from me. And who am I, anyway, to call them unfit to live in a "proper" garden? Who, indeed...

6.5.07

The pure in heart...

Blessed are the pure in heart who believe in the magic of faerie dust! What a joy it was to share the magic of believing in possibilities with young and old alike...Lillianna is one tired faerie!

24.4.07

Heading South...

Path Through the Trees

We had another Deparment meeting today, so that meant, of course, I got to doodle another Department Meeting Doodle. Pretty tricky to doodle and listen at the same time but I'm beginning to master the process. And sometimes I even appear "engaged" in the topic. I'm always engaged in the doodle...

I'm heading South tomorrow - to Atlanta - for a professional meeting (Art Libraries of North America) and, from the way I "read" my doodle I'm ready to go! See the path going through the pine trees and over the waterfalls? No? Hmmmm... looks pretty clear to me!

Another Doodle of Note: this will be the first time that our 11 month old Labradoodle, Jake, will be boarded while we go away. (We'd leave him with the person housesitting, but they are cat people...go figure!) I'm happy that he will be boarding where he goes everyday for Puppy Day Care. And he should stay pretty busy since I've signed him up for Macrame 101 and a digital photography class called Fido's Fotos. Seriously. Ahem.

Off I go...I hope Mint Juleps are in season in Georgia...wheeeee!!!

19.4.07

Going, going, gone...(!)

I went back last night to take pictures of "Going Post-It" and someone had already taken the post-it covered pedestal away...At least I got to record the work on the walls:

Compostion#1:
Compostion #2:
Composition #3:
All that was left of the sculpture:

Ah well.

18.4.07

Got Post-Its?

Ten (10) Easy Steps to Creating an Impromptu Show About Color (?) Consumables (?) Spontaneous Creativity (?):

1. Take a small, empty gallery (empty except for a long, low, wood pedestal left from the previous show), 3M Post-It Notes (in this case yellow, orange, red-orange), and 24.3 minutes that would normally be spent staring at your computer.

2. Enter gallery and start Post-It-ing. Just do it. Figure it out as you go along. Stick 'em on the pedestal. Stick 'em on the wall. Compose two more "works" on opposite wall.

3. Stand back and critique. Edit. Adjust as needed.

4. Turn on gallery lights.

5. Return to office to scan Post-It stuck on paper with show title and place. Save as jpeg.

6. Attach "poster" to email and send to co-workers.

7. Document with photos.

8. Add show info to the "Solo Exhibitions" section of your resume.

9. Smile!!!

10. Return to work.

(I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow...)

16.4.07

Lillianna Bluestockings, Pocket Faerie

Time is quickly approaching for Lillianna's debut at the Fairie Festival, and she needed to submit a bio to The Powers That Be. (Lillianna will be at the festival 11-1 on 5 May and 11-3 on 6 May if you want to meet her.) Any way, here's what we came up with:

Lillianna Bluestockings lives far away in the Land of The Midnight Sun. Born without wings, she made friends with two butterflies who flitted around the fields of wildflowers she frequented as a child. These very same butterflies, whom she named Goodness and Mercy, can be seen perched on her shoulders in suspended animation, ready to fly her wherever she dreams of going - all she has to do is recite the magic word when she's all alone. They have flown her around the world many, many times! Lillianna loves to read and study about places and people just like the all the Pocket Faeries in her family before her - hence the term "bluestockings" which she proudly took for her surname (a tradition with the Faeries in her homeland). Most of the time she even wears blue stockings...but if it's too hot she'll just wear whatever is comfortable. She loves to be comfortable and wears layers of hand-me-downs that she's collected in her travels; a jumble of blue and green patterns and textures that changes to suit her mood. She has been heard to say, "One can NEVER wear too many patterns, textures or POCKETS, for heaven sakes!" She certainly needs lots of pockets to carry the special treasures she makes and collects; ribbon-like pieces of rainbow that she weaves after catching their colors on her loom, droplets of water from waterfalls and fjords that are frozen in time - they look just like glass! - and the stringy feathers of the Blue Crested Twinkle Chirper who resides in the deep dark forest of the Land of Magic.

Lillianna may look older than the other fairies, and she's not as fancy and sparkly as many faeries are, but she's Kind and Good and full of Inner Sparkle and Wisdom. If you ask, she will happily share some as she rubs her special brand of Faerie Dust onto your palms and forehead: May Your Heart be Full of Love. May Your Heart be Full of Peace. May You Always Remember the Magic of Today. And May Your Eyes Always Sparkle With Joy!

13.4.07

Just two little things, please...

Two things I want to see put in elevators:

1. A "Do Over" button. I never seem to hit the right button on the first try so then I spend the rest of the day fraught with guilt knowing that the elevator traveled needlessly to the third floor simply because of my: Inattention To Detail. And I won't even go into the negative impact this failing on my part must have on energy consumption and global warming. I don't want to think about that. All I want is a simple button. Call it "Delete" or "Erase" if you want. I don't care. I just want to know it's there in case I need it. Which, as I said, I DO!

2. A "Warning: Pssssst! Pusher Error" announcement. To let me know that I'm not getting anywhere because I keep pushing the button for the floor I'm already on!!! Augh. I spend an inordinate amount of time needlessly fussing and fuming and tapping my foot in elevators. And my pointy finger is, well, becoming decidedly less, uh, pointy from all that Righteously Indignant Repeated Pushing. The announcement could, I suppose, be shortened to a terse "Idiot!" if my initial proposal is too lengthy.

(And, no, taking the stairs is not relevant to either request. Suffice it to say I have long skirt and fear-of-height issues I don't want to go into...okay?)

I just want these two little things. Anytime today will be fine, thank you.

We can address all the
other items on my list tomorrow.

12.4.07

Surprises...

I took an online test at lunch to see if I was right or left brained. "Ha! Like I really need confirmation of my Rightieness," I thought.

Well, hmmm... I came out a Leftie!

Actually, I think what's happened to me is that my hemispheres have started to come into balance. That's what I can hear the left and right telling me anyway when I listen really closely to them... during one of those interesting Stereo Conversations my brain has w-a-a-a-y too many of. (Wait - yours doesn't have those???) Could be why, overall, I'm happier these days; one side isn't having to scream to be heard anymore. Or maybe it's the ol' pendulum swinging and in another ten years I'll be a Rightie again.

When I first took the Myer-Briggs Type Indicator Test I was, among other things, an Introvert. When I took it a number of years later, I had switched to being an Extrovert. Have the sure feeling if I took it today I'd be back to being the Introvert.

None of this concerns me. Matter of fact it seems kind of healthy. I like to think it indicates that I'm curious and engaged in the world and willingly change as I learn new things and move into new ways of being.

I love that I'm suddenly a Leftie after thinking I was absolutely a Rightie. Makes me see of myself in a new light - like getting a new short hairstyle or trading in a staid suit for a bright blue dress with ruffles.

Change is invigorating, don't you think? We are not always what we think we are. We have surprises inside! How great is that?!?!?!?

6.4.07

Composure...

I had wanted to go to bed early last night, but found myself watching "A Wayfarer's Journey; Listening to Mahler" - a PBS documentary about composer Gustave Mahler and how he used his music to heal. Periodically in the documentary, portions of Mahler's writings were read by actor Richard Dreyfus. These words rang true for me:

"One doesn't compose; one is being composed."

And so it is when I work. I enter a work in chaos. I listen. I do - and in doing and listening I find the answer; the composition waiting to be revealed. A simple process, but rich in the peace it brings to my harried soul. The healing grace of quiet composure...