Category Archives: Muses

Silence Could Be Golden. If Only.

So, I have been missing for a week or so.  There has been stuff in the personal life that has just been crappy and I don’t really have anything positive to talk about.  Except for the following bits of goodness:

  1. I watched Thor: The Dark World.  Not the greatest movie, I’ll admit, but Tom Hiddleston… I am Loki-fied.
  2. I got a red Poang chair and foot stool at Ikea and it is amazingly comfortable.
  3. I have been sleeping really well lately.  That is a huge thing.  Huge.
  4. I had an Oreo or 2.  Maybe even 3.  I love Oreos.
  5. I found my framed Mark Rothko print so I can hang it on the wall by my red chair.  Woot!

Okay – there you have it.  My list of good things.

Today’s drawing from is String # 038.  Isn’t she a beauty?  I think this may be favorite so far – except for maybe #007.  They are strangely similar, aren’t they?  Anyway, here is the link to the string:

String 38
2015-03-03;, String 038

The Joy of Cooking + To Serve Man

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Worldly Encounters.”  The friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie, or song that explains what humans are all about. What do you pick?

This is a very funny daily prompt for a blog.  I know that there are people who will take it seriously and recommend the Bible, the Koran, some important work of literature.  I almost chose Jane Eyre because it is my favorite book ever.  The Stand would be a good one too.  Love me some Steven King. But instead the book I would give the alien outside my door would be my well-worn and well loved copy of The Joy of Cooking.  Everything is in that book.  Humor, wit, and how to kill, clean, grow, harvest and cook or preserve your own food.  There are bits in the recipes about how they were created, where they came from, their history.  Not necessarily a book you read, but interesting if you just happen to pick it up.  And a valuable tool for survival.

At the same time, I would invite said friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial into my house and pull up Netflix and queue up the episode of the Twilight Zone called ‘To Serve Man’.  25 minutes or so, surely he has that much time?  Friendly aliens are not to be trusted.  How many times have we learned that on TV, in books, in the movies?  If aliens come to Earth, they are either coming with guns blazing, stealing people one at a time for horrifying scientific experiments, or … Like in To Serve Man under the guise of ‘helping’ Earth be more healthy, less war-like, more productive at food production.  What is the goal of this friendly alien?  Have I just handed him a cookbook that will help him serve me up on a platter?  If you haven’t seen this episode of the Twilight Zone, stop everything and go watch it now.  Really.  It is necessary.  One of the best single episodes of television ever.

And now today’s art., String 032.  As you can see, I struggle a little with having patterns cross or turning corners.  I must work on this!

String 32
2015-01-21;, String 032

Haiku and Zentangle

Sometimes I like to write Haiku – seemingly so simple, but still not simple.  Other times I like to draw in Zentangle fashion – seemingly so complex, but still not.  So today, I give you one of each.

Fog (smog?) laying low
Buildings fuzzed through a hazy
Yet beautiful Friday

Today’s tangle is String # 025.  Oy.  Love this one.  Link to the string:

String 025
11-17-2014;, String 025

Mentioned in Passing

Something I have mentioned in passing in my recent posts has been Fibromyalgia.  I haven’t done a lot of complaining or whining or explanation of the what’s, why’s and how’s of my Fibro journey.  And I am not going to today.  What I am going to do is celebrate some of the changes I have made and their effects on how I feel.  But first a couple of song lyrics because of the title of this blog post.

It’s so nice to meet an old friend and pass the time of day
And talk about the home town a million miles away
Is the ice still on the river, are the old folks still the same
And by the way, did she mention my name
Did she mention my name just in passing

Gordon Lightfoot – Did She Mention My Name

Now I have this song stuck in my head.  Great.  Anyway… This is how I feel right now about Fibromyalgia.  For the last 2 years, every day has centered around Fibro – the pain, the exhaustion, the brain fog.  In the past 6 months or so, I had dabbled in going gluten free in my diet, having heard that it may have some effect.  And just after the beginning of the year, I was encouraged by some friends to try their diet plan.  It is called Yoli and is based on balancing the alkalinity in your body and then eating a high protein, low carb diet supplemented by their patented protein shakes, energy/metabolism boosting drinks, and dietary supplement capsules.  It is gluten free and mostly sugar free (natural sugars). Now, I am not one for paying a lot of money for a diet, but this one was rumored to help with Fibro symptoms.  And if it could help those symptoms then the results would be priceless.

So, two months in, the results are priceless.  Absolutely and unbelievably priceless.  I am almost completely pain free.  I don’t sleep all day.  I have energy to do things (in moderation).  I can bend and move in ways I haven’t for years.  I don’t need two cups of coffee every morning to wake up.  And I have lost 15 pounds in 2 months.  My face is slimmer, my double chin is gone, I have a waist again.  My jeans are sagging and I can get them off without unbuttoning them if I want.

Today, I am celebrating this success.  I am going to fill out paperwork to start a new job.  I am going to go meet with friends from an old job to keep in touch.  I am going to do things that healthy, normal people do.  And I am going to celebrate feeling like a healthy/normal person.  Maybe in a few months I will stop the daily Yoli plan and go into maintenance.  I want to hit my target weight first.  And then maybe, just maybe I will be a healthy/normal person.  Every day.  And I can then mention Fibro in passing… a memory of an old acquaintance that was once more than that.

Panic! My Email is Down

Yesterday, I was completely out of commission.  You might say that 24 hours of my life are gone and I will never get them back.  Oh, stomach flu, how I wish you would be banished to another planet.  Unfortunately, you have instead moved on to another family member.

Today, I woke up expecting to catch up on a day’s worth of email and other, you know, stuff.  But there is no email.  I click the button on my phone and it updated at something like 3 am and will not update again.  I get onto the laptop, open the internet browser which seems to be working just fine – I have all of the normal stories on the most haunted items in the world, how Justin Bieber spent his weekend, how big butts are the new skinny.  But no email.  How can I possibly survive with no email???  How can any of us possibly survive with no email?

Oh, wait.  I have a backup email on another service provider just for cases such as this.  Because there is an important email that I am expecting today.  I texted the person who is supposed to be sending me this important email.  And she hasn’t sent it yet.

In my 24 hours of oblivion, I have missed nothing of importance in the digital world.  Nothing at all.  Panic averted.

Today’s drawing from is String 014; link –  I would probably do this one again and try something different.

String 014
9/16/2014; String 014

Watching the Snow Fall

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Me Time.”

As I have told you before in my post ‘Silence’, I love quiet Saturday mornings.  Today, the snow is falling gently in the woods and the fireplace is lit.  For some reason, I am alone in the living room and the Dukes of Hazzard is on the TV.  And also for some reason, it is an episode I have seen more than once.  I think it’s time to turn the TV off.

Me time.  My butt has imprinted the sofa in the most perfect way.  I have a blanket that is soft and snuggly.  I’m thinking about a cup of coffee.  Which would require me to get up off the sofa.  The fire probably needs another log, so up I go – two things at one time.  Okay, that’s done.  For my quiet Saturday morning – now into early afternoon – I will do some drawing, some crochet, maybe some spinning.  I have laundry to fold and more to wash but that can wait.  Wait for the family to come in an break my silent reverie. Until then, I have the crackling of the fire and the snow coming down a little more persistently now.

I have a favor to ask of you, my friends.  I find much inspiration in lines of poems, song lyrics, small turns of words.  Can you help me with future blog posts by giving me a few words that you think I could use as a starting point for a blog post?  I fear I will become boring if I simply tell you what is going on here in the woods.  My life is an endless repeat of craft, art, laundry, food, and sleep.  Inspiration is not always easy.  So please give me a starting place.  We can both be surprised by where it takes us.

Today’s drawing is String 013 – link:  This is one of my favorite drawings I have done.  Rather than many random patterns within the guidelines of the given string, this feels like a cohesive drawing.  I am rather pleased with it.  I hope you like it too.

String 013
9/15/2015; String 013

Mother Teresa and My Lenten Journey

I was raised in the Catholic Church and I am still a practicing Catholic.  Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which for me is one of the most holy and moving days of the year.  For about 15 years, I have been compelled to use the 40 days of Lent as a time not to give up something as some kind of false sacrifice, knowing I would go back to it after Easter, but as a time of searching my soul.  At mass yesterday, the priest’s homily was “Repent. Rend your heart and find joy in the gospel.” Short. Powerful, powerful words.  Rend your heart.  Tear it open and find your flaws and throw them out.  Make room for the goodness of God.  I like to think that I am not an overly religious person, but more of a spiritual person – clinging more to the spirit of God than to the doctrine of the Catholic religion.  But the importance placed on Lent is one thing that I am very aligned to in Catholicism.

A friend posted this on Facebook yesterday as something to focus on during Lent.  It is a poem painted on the wall of Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Calcutta.  This version is attributed to her, but is based on an earlier composition by Kent Keith.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

            If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

            Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

            In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

And so, my friends, my goal in my Lenten journey this year is to do good.  To rend my heart, clean out the bad, repent, and let in the good news of God.  This is not the first year I have done this.  One of the most difficult things I have ever encountered is my relationship with my mother-in-law.  She has not always been a nice person – to me, to my husband, to my children.  She has been spiteful and intentionally hurtful in her words and actions.  Several years ago, it was my Lenten Journey to forgive her.  It has changed my life and my relationship with her.  It has gone far beyond the 40 days of Lent that year.  So this year, I will be working on myself – working on my own health so that I can be a better wife and mother, working on my own thoughts and actions so that I can be a force for good in the world.

I apologize to those who find this post preachy and overly religious.  But this is what is on my mind and in my heart.  I cannot apologize for that.  My hope is to perhaps inspire one person to consider the words above and make the journey with me to be a force for good.

Semi-Cross, ink on paper

A Big Day!

Today is a big day.  A big, big day.  First of all, the son and the husband went to the first college visit.  Yes, yes.  Before you ask – But Mom, shouldn’t you be there?  I should.  But it would be physically irresponsible of me to go.  The stupid fibro stupid disease still has me in its grips.  That much walking and stairs and visual and auditory stimulation would land me in bed for several days.  I have to be realistic.  I am communicating with the boy throughout the day and he seems to really like the school they are looking at.  I just hope the husband isn’t being too focused on the thought/idea that at 16, he should be prepared to declare a major, meet with that school, and declare his undying devotion.  I am so much more relaxed about that and I know that in time, the boy will grow up, figure out his path and be a fabulous adult.

In weight loss news, I crossed a major milestone this morning.  I have been butted up against it for about 2 weeks now, and the scale just was not budging.  But today, when I did the weekly updating of the weight on my Fitbit app, I had to change all of the numbers.  All of them.  My serious intent is to never rise above that threshold again.  Ever.  The husband told me last night that I look skinny.  Whoa!!!  Let’s back that truck up!! S-K-I-N-N-Y.  I haven’t been that since I got pregnant the first time with the boy who is visiting a college today.

I have been giving some consideration to a tattoo.  I am 45 years old and currently have no tattoos, but as I am making these big changes in my thoughts and practices, a tattoo has been gaining appeal.  I want to incorporate important dates in my life with some kind of Celtic Knot or tree of life, but I want it to be small enough to go on the inside of my forearm.  I keep doodling things but I am not happy with any.  So I will keep doodling and thinking about it.  In the meantime, though, I am sketching out plans for a large drawing that incorporates dates, times, calendars and clocks.  I think for the detail I want, maybe art to hang on my wall rather than my body is what I should be doing.

Watching the Lava Lamp

Before Christmas, maybe around Thanksgiving, A2 (11 yrs old) decided that one of the things she wanted most in this entire world was a lava lamp.  Huh?  Weren’t those things popular a long time ago?  Like when I was a kid?  It seems it all keeps coming around again.  So, the husband in a weak moment in a toy store bought the girl a lava lamp.  Blue water, yellow/green lava.  It came home with us and was promptly started in the middle of the living room floor.  Because that is where everything owned by A2 ends up at some point.  We told her that it would take a couple of hours to warm up and do its thing and off to bed she went.  In the morning she came downstairs before school and watched it for a while.  When she came home from school, she watched it for a while.  Then came the question “Is that all it does?”

So now I have a lava lamp all my own.  I never had one before and to be honest, wanted one.  It sits in the living room on a ceramic tile and does its thing.  Not in the middle any longer but off to the side, next to the fireplace.  I can sit and watch it any time I want.  I find myself mesmerized by its slow motions.  Why do some bubbles rise or fall more quickly than others? Why are there only small bubbles one day and large the next?  No… don’t tell me, I don’t really care.  All I care about is the soothing meditation of watching the lava lamp.

Today’s photo is gratuitous spinning/fiber love.  I have been working on this particular yarn for a long while and will be for a while yet.  But in the end I hope it will be worth all of the effort.  It will be a gradient, which means that it goes from one color at the beginning and through long slow changes, will end up in a different color at the end.  One of the most pleasing things about spinning is that I don’t know exactly how any braid of fiber will look when I get it finished.  The colors seem to darken or lighten when compressed together.  I am also not a good enough spinner to know how many yards of yarn I will end up with from a specific weight of a specific breed of fiber.  If you have been reading along with me, I’m pretty sure you know that I won’t care.  I just love the process and will love the outcome no matter what it ends up being.

Fiber on Spinning Wheel
1/22/2015, Spinning a Gradient