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Department meetings...

We have departmental meetings on Tuesdays during the lunch hour. So I doodle.

The drawing above is the one I did today - it's called "Waterfall".

I think it would be fun to do a series of Departmental Meeting Doodles and then have a show of them titled "Something from Nothing" or something like that... I had the perfect title at the end of the meeting, but I've now forgotten what it was. Of course.

Where I work I'm considered to be part of the "non-essential"personnel, so when my little town gets a heavy snow, I don't have to come in to work. Which suits me just fine. I don't have to do much at the meetings and I have more time to doodle-doodle-do!


We've come a long way...Not.

So I'm at the checkout counter at Old Navy, having the collars and leashes that I need for Jake (our super-sweetie of a labradoodle) rung up. (They were on sale and Very Navy with semaphore flags and boats for heaven's sake! What's a mother to dooooo????)

Anyway, I mention to the young woman at the register that these were perfect for Jake because we're a Navy family and that I had been in the Reserves.

She replied, "I was in the Army Reserves and loved it - but my husband made me quit."

I told her I was sad to hear that. And I was. And I am. Still.

I don't know what makes me saddest, though. The fact that her husband thinks he has the right to demand his wife leave something she loves - even if times are dangerous - or the fact that she complied.

Either way, it doesn't bode well for a happy marriage. And that's really sad.


Quick prayers for help...

"Are you aware of how often you respond to things by saying "Jesus Christ" ?"

"Yes. But I'm not taking His name in vain when I's more like a prayer for help."

"Well, it doesn't sound very reverential to me."

Wise woman that I am, I did not respond by shreaking "Jesus Christ!" when he said that. I just thought it instead. And guess what? My prayer was answered.

I smiled inside, changed the subject, and the rest of the drive home was pleasant.

God is good.


Blessings of peace and grace...

I bought a piece of fabric yesterday. And today, by telling you about it, I hope to honor the man or woman - or child - in India who made it.

The soft cotton fabric, dyed a faded green, caught my eye as I roamed the aisle of sale bolts, but when I touched it, it captured my heart and took my breath away.

A layer short of being a quilt, it is covered with tiny, even stitches that hold two pieces of fabric together. The surface of the top piece is cut in an intricate open design and then the raw edge of
each and every hole has been turned under and stitched to the backing fabric. Hundreds and thousands of cleanly finished holes completed with ten times as many stitches - it's truly a work of art. I'm lost in questions as I touch it...

How did it come to be? Who made it? How old were they? How long did it take? How much were they paid? (How little would be more accurate, I'm sure.) Where did they live? Who were their friends? What did they eat when they went home? Were their stomachs full? What was their home like? Who taught them to make such fine stitches and take such care in their work? Did the repetitive stitching needed to complete each yard dull their minds with boredom or allow their imagination to fly and take them away from the dull, hard work? How many times did they thread their needle? How many times did they prick their fingers? Did they decide on the pattern of the cutouts? Did they decide the color and dye the fabric?

Who did they love? Who loved them? What were their dreams? For themselves? For their children or families? What did they believe? Were they happy? Are they still alive?

There's no way I will ever know the answers to these questions and, truth to tell, I'm not sure I could handle some of the answers if I knew.

So I touch the cloth and cherish it.

And I send blessings of peace and grace to the one who stitched the cloth. And to the One who made us both.


Spreading myself too thin...

Yesterday at lunch I caved. I ate a brownie that I had every intention of not eating. The realization that I was out of control hit me full force.

Four and a half hours later I was at Weight Watchers. Again. A lifetime member since 1980, I can at least give myself credit for having learned to recognize when it's time to return. And yesterday it was clearly time.

And so begins my journey to lose 41 pounds. Stepping on that scale is always painful, but I'm well aware that it could have been worse, and right now I'll take any positive I can find. I sensed a difference in myself as I sat in the meeting last night. This is the first time I've really been curious to know what it will feel like to be at goal weight again and curiousity is a powerful, powerful motivator for me.

As an artist my mantra is "what if?" and I sense that this time around what captured my curiosity is wondering about my weight loss from a sculptor's point of view. I stood in front of the mirror this morning lifting this and tightening that while considering, "What if this were up here? What if that were smaller? What if the skin decides to drape and sag rather than hug the bones?" Strangely pleasant questions knowing that, if I apply myself to the task at hand, I might uncover the what of what's there. Like, perhaps, the body that lies beneath the protective coating I've built up over the years. Years of denial. Years of taking care of everyone but me. Years of busy-ness with things that don't matter so I don't have to deal with the things that do.

And what if it turns out that spreading myself too thin for so many years is a key factor in why I'm now anything but?


The gist of it all...

I just wrote out a list of the things I'd want to save in a fire. I was thinking in terms of household goods. Quite informative. I'd want ten things. And I have thousands...It occurred to me that it might be useful to try the same exercise with my wardrobe. And other areas that haunt me more than provide pleasure. A reality check of clutter, if you will.

The gist of all this is figuring out what truly matters and what doesn't. And if it doesn't matter, then being willing to let go of the thing, or the feeling, or the "whatever" it is. Just let it go and move forward in faith. Ah, faith, O Me of Little.

Here's the faith part I need to really hold onto and believe: that if I find, somewhere down the road, that I need whatever I let go of, that it will, indeed, be provided. Just like that. "Ask and you shall receive."

So... maybe... I don't need to be this little squirrel storing things away for calamaties and eventualities that might never occur. If I trust the Universe to provide, and rid myself of excess - of every sort - well, just imagine what I could do with the extra space, energy, and time that all this "stuff" is taking up.

Just imagine!


The freedom to choose...


It humbles me to reflect on the number of choices I have. My days are filled with them. I take them for granted and even get frustrated by number of decisions they force me to make.

What to eat? Which set of dishes to use? Microwave or oven? What to wear? Pearls or diamonds? Walk or drive? Which car should I drive? Which bathroom should I use? Decaf or regular? Work or not work? Splurge or save? Desktop or laptop? On and on and on...

Today I choose:
- to be grateful for the freedom to choose.
- to feel in my heart what it means that many have died trying to have a small portion of all I take for granted.
- to honor them by being mindful of my good fortune.

May my choices today be thoughtful and good.