Today I had FUN! haha. But really I did, I went to the city to see my middle one and ended up with a BONUS of spending the day with oldest AND middle. We ate delicious food at a Native Foods cafe, which is a vegan restaurant, and although none of us are vegans... we love good food. We had a wonderful coffee at one of the five million cute coffee shops in the city. (why can't we have some of those out here??) We jumped my oldest's car which had a dead battery and went grocery shopping. None of which may sound like the ideal day...but it was. The company was outstanding. I don't see my grown kids that often. (Middle spent the last 2 years in London and oldest is busy with his amazing life.) I love spending time with them, honestly. I always have enjoyed their company. I'm really lucky.
On the drive back home I was thinking 'What am I going to write about today? What what what??'
I had a stream of conscious thoughts in the car that are random I suppose and probably a bit boring...but that's what I am going with.
WHY do people NOT use turn signals? I don't get it. When you get off the tollway onto Rt 173 it is soooooo dark. You'd think they might transition you with some street lights.... The Trader Joes in the city are so ridiculously busy on Sunday evening. I guess all grocery stores in the city are, but out here they're dead on Sunday nights. I bought myself some tulips for 4.99!!!! Tulips! so worth it. When I'm at home I play music a lot of the time, most of the time, but in my car, I like it quiet...isn't that weird? I almost always borrow a book from them, when I visit my oldest and his girlfriend's (she was out of town, sadly) and today was no exception. Middle and I love to talk in a "hillbilly" accent (apologies to any southerners with this actual accent) We find it hilarious for some reason. Oldest doesn't partake. I am going to do some new signs this week. Inspired. Middle talked about his wrinkles. (?) He is 24 years old. Oh to be 24. But not really. Oldest recently moved into a lovely new apartment around Xmas time, and I got to see it for the first time today. A big ass snowstorm is predicted for next week....but today it was spring-like in the city. (Like 40 degrees!!) Weather is so weird. I have not been using my SAD light like I should. (this is a seasonal-disorder-light which "brings the light of a springtime morning" into your life) Need to make time for this. These tulips are almost as good. Middle got some too. Remember, before GPS, when people used maps and atlases to get places! Oh it is so much nicer now. I still love maps though. We talked about movies and they said Blue Valentine is super super sad...but really good. Maybe I'll see it. Somedays I struggle but today was excellent. x #500wordsaday
"When I began slow my life down and decided to free myself from conforming to the 'standard' expectations of society, something magical happened... I began to truly connect with the magic of the everyday. By making conscious choices to avoid main stream media, shopping centres, the 'buy and consume' mentality and instead spending time in connecting with Mother Earth and turning inward through journaling, meditation and yoga rather than looking elsewhere for fulfillment and happiness, a whole new aspect of life began to unravel itself. It was there all along, I has just made myself too 'busy' to notice."
THIS^ is a quote by Sophie Isobel Asher and I really love it. She is an artist/designer who used to have a blog I loved called 'Her Library Adventures'. Come on. who doesn't love that title? Come to think of it... loving the title 'Kale and cigarettes' is what led me here!
Regarding this quote, though... Of course I am not fully there. I've thought seriously about getting off FB, but I have tiny reservations. and I do love Instagram. (photos get me every time) Doubt I'll ever want to give that up. I haven't been to a mall in forever and I DO avoid big corporate stores for the most part. (Weaning myself off Target...not that easy) I consciously try to shop small and local whenever I can. I used to be a super busy mum running around all the time, mostly in my vehicle, but life changes and I definitely notice more freedom in my day than I had before.
So...what to do with that "free time"? The cruel irony is that just when I attained Free Time is when I am too tired to add much to my day. I have high hopes of making more money selling my barnwords signs. I am actually applying to art/craft shows finally. This is a big step for me, previously I sold basically to friends of friends. As with anything (yoga, yoyo, dance, sports,singing....) there are whole universes within the worlds of these things. Art fairs are no different. There are unwritten rules and "things people know" about this world that I am uninformed of. The nuances of applying to, as well as being a vendor are quite interesting. Learning experience.
Ironically, I like being busy. So I will fill my time with projects and things to focus on but I will never feel as busy as I did when the kids were here and younger, I'm sure of that.
So I guess it is all about balance. Having balance in your life. Balance between the busy and the idle. Balance between the hard and the easy stuff. Oh, to be a balanced individual. I am learning to balance my good and bad, yin and yang. I am always learning.
When I think about the actual word: balance... I picture those old fashioned wooden teeter-totters that if the guy on the down end suddenly let up...the guy in the air comes crashing down and it hurts like hell.
I am lucky and I count my blessings every day, believe me. ( I could be luckier....but couldn't we all!!?) x #500wordsaday
All about the fun. Isn't it a weird concept, fun? I mean literally everyone defines it differently. Everyone wants to have it!
My teenager (so glad it's over) used to say "because it's FUN. We're just havin FUN" as a response to any inquiries regarding illicit or illegal behavior. A scene that stuck with me forever was the mom at a dance competition years ago, screaming BUT ITS FUN! to her crying, struggling 8 year old shivering in the sequined costume, tears streaming down her little made up face... Of course I know what she meant...but obviously this was not fun.
Part of why my own mom is so miserable these days is probably because nothing seems fun anymore. It's not enough to be alive, wake up and eat and drink and maybe work on a puzzle or look out the window or read the newspaper. Maybe those things were fun once, when there were so many other options available to her on any given day. But not anymore. Nothing is fun now, according to her and who am I to argue? We do see the world quite differently. I've had jobs that were totally fun and ones that were not. I've traveled to places and had a ton of fun, and traveled to others and had a horrible time. I've been to fun parties and (mostly) not fun ones. So, although those experiences are things I would say I like...none of them can be defined as guaranteed fun.
It's just one of those words that tends to mystify me because everybody wants it, strives for it, talks about it. But it is changing all the time, the definition of fun.
I think it's kind of a kids word, fun is. Most little kids possess the ability to have fun more easily or often, I think, than adults. Maybe I'm wrong. It's probably because as adults, we tend to over think and over think and over analyze and re-think things whereas kids may just dive in and enjoy the experience.
What do you think of as fun? I'd seriously love to know.
Does anybody else do this really stupid thing? Start some water boiling, and get doing something only to come back and find it has all boiled into the atmosphere and the pot is so hot it's scary? I swear to GODDDD I am never going to do this again.
This last year I purchased a pour-over coffee device...a really wonderful inexpensive way to brew a great cup of coffee one at a time. So I boil one mugs worth of water at a time, basically. I love coffee. My love of good coffee is rivaled only by my love of art. and craft cocktails. and good books. and music and dance. and good shoes. and kindness. and money I don't have. You get the idea... So on my list of stupid things I do, letting the water boil away repeatedly (although NOT every day) is high up there.
I finally got a debit card this winter. I know, I know. 21st century and all that jazz. I was and still do write checks for stuff. So another thing I'm not going to do ever again is forget to write down each transaction which can cause one's checking account to become insufficient in funds. How easy it is to forget when you're out and about with your visiting kids at Christmas time and utilizing said debit card.... I'm also not going to skip my regular yoga class on Mondays and Fridays just because bed is so warm and house is so cold. I'm not going to eat entire bags or boxes of cookies, crackers or dreaded 'all natural' white cheese Cheetos, rather I will limit my serving to an acceptable amount. I am not drinking alcohol on weekdays (except for possibly optional Monday). I am going to try to save a little bit of money each month and not spend it. (on that great little Mexican food place just because fuck it I DO have $ 20.00) I want to plan a trip and send some real mail out. I need to paint signs!!! This pretty much sums up my January goals which I wrote down on Jan.01. As the month draws to an end, (so quickly) I can say I have stuck to about half of my goals. Not terrible, but not what I had in mind. Hope I do better in February. But guess what? I haven't missed a day here, in this writing group and I am astounded at myself. Who would have guessed this is something I would stick with? Not me. Isn't life funny?
Part of why I keep doing it is I really like reading a lot of the stories posted here. It's fun to read strangers commentaries on their lives (and all sorts of other things.) I hope to keep writing on the blog after this ends, but doubt I will do it daily. (on the daily :)
So pretty soon, I'll be making my list of Feb. goals. I'm only accountable to myself, since I set the rules. I like it that way. x #500wordsaday
I like to read. A lot. Sometimes I read a brilliant book and just feel astonished. How does someone write like that? A cohesive, entertaining, emotional, clear and beautiful story? I have some favorites. When I finished 'Goldfinch' by Donna Tartt, I actually wanted to read it again. (That's crazy!) But it felt that good. 'The Poisonwood Bible' and 'All the light we cannot see' and 'Geek Love' and 'The Cider House Rules' all made me feel similar. I am not reviewing books here, but they are such a huge part of my life.
I love the way books feel and look and their presence in my home is so satisfying. I love old books too. Old books are incredible, lots of beautiful covers and fonts. What a talent it is to write beautifully. I feel like my books are my friends sometimes. When I was little, I was given a little book called "A friend is someone who likes you". (I still have it :)
I had the pleasure of seeing two different friends today! (real people, not books) Friends are of utmost importance to me. I couldn't imagine my life without friends. There are so many different kinds too. Both of these people, I had become friends with through our common work places. Two different workplaces though. But isn't it interesting how we meet people and decide that we will be friends? Do we consciously decide? It's not always just having similarities, although that is usually a valid reason. I've thought extensively about how and why we are attracted to others. Sometimes it seems unlikely. Sometimes it seems obvious. But I find it rather fascinating. In a few instances, I have experienced an almost urgent need to get to know someone further. I can't even describe WHAT the reason is. It just is. I find that quite interesting. Some of my friends possess qualities that I admire, wish I had, those confident friends who are kind and interesting too. Some of my friends are old friends, known for ages, and neither of us changed so drastically that we parted ways. Those are great friends, as you share a long history. Some new friends are like a shot of fabulous energy in my life. And then there are Online friends. People you may have never even met, but feel close to. That's an extremely interesting concept, actually, because you may not even know the real them, but the one you know you really feel a connection to. When I was young I used to wonder about my friends' homes...how everyone had a different situation and yet we were the same. Woke up, went to school, made shit up and played and fought and loved and hated and ate and yet, had such varying home lives.
This is a quote from a book I loved. I wrote it in one of my journals. "we can't choose what we want and don't want and that's the hard lonely truth. Sometimes we want what we want, even if we know it's going to kill us"
I love my friends. Thanks for reading. x #500wordsaday
I'm hopeful that I have 30 things to write about. I must say the world has no shortage of subjects but I don't fancy myself expert on many of them. Part of why I am doing this thing is because it's winter. Where I live that means cold, snow, grey, dismal, short days, ice, and unemployment. So it is a good thing, this 500 words a day. I am a seasonally affected individual. I learned many years ago, that it's better to be busy with creative projects in the winter. Occasionally these projects overwhelm though.
One winter I was going to paint a couple of rooms in my house. But as anyone who has painted knows....There's much more to it than the actual painting. Unfortunately, I never quite got past the prep. Then there was the winter I planned to make holiday gifts for everyone in my family....I made two but I needed five.. So that didn't work out. My winters are filled with good intentions so I am determined to see this thing through. All that to say....Some of these posts may be a bit boring and I apologize for that.
I leave my perennials up all winter and chop them down in the spring. I love the "wild" look, (sorry to the nice neighbors across the street who chem-lawn their green, weed-free grass) my garden brings me a lot of pleasure even though it is not huge. I like the seed heads and the 'dead looking' stalks and grasses. The birds appreciate it as well. Seeing the winter garden is a small joy to help get me through the long cold months. Barnwords has been a huge help too. When people order signs, I have a deadline and purpose.
(In re-reading this, I sure sound like an old person.) Sometimes I feel like one too. There are so many places I haven't been, in the world. Nice to live a bit vicariously through my well traveled kids, I guess. I never sleep well in hotels anyway. Someone's post about lack of regular pooping was good the other day...reminded me of ME traveling. ( It's so much nicer when you're regular.) However, I do love to see new places and cultures. I love to experience life in a different land. I love to get inspired by the countless ways to exist. I love travel. I love cities and I love nature. But I am a bit of a homebody too. My uniform in winter is largely these gray UCLA sweatpants and my fleece. This morning I really wanted a donut (or something ). We actually have a cute new place in town thats owned by a stellar baker. But I didn't want to go out in my uniform....and I didn't want to change. Such a quandry....
Good thing I have some lemon cookies from Whole foods...Have you had them? theyre amazing...and I don't even shop at WF usually. Too expensive and too far away from my town. ah the trials of life in winter. x #500wordsaday
Eleven days. Halfway to Enough to break a habit. Or change a habit. Or somesuch thing. Today I have been working on a few things, one of them being cleaning up my work space. I found a lot of old things in this process which in turn caused me to get severely distracted...and it causes me to wonder why some of us tend to keep things and others do not. I am, by no means, a hoarder at least by televisions standards (ha) but man. Do I have stuff. Granted, its COOL stuff...and its a lot of paper type stuff, I always was gonna make amazing artsy collages to sell and I DID actually make artsy collages but, well. hmmmm.
So I saved cool or old or beautiful bits of paper and words and vintage photos and cards and here they sit. Boxes of them. (Even the boxes are nice) What to do with them?
I also have toys. Kids toys. Hot wheels cars and matchbox cars and tracks. Tinker toys. Lincoln logs. Blocks. Legos. Puzzles made of wood. Metal toys. (See? I only save the cool stuff!) But nowadays I'm trying to streamline. To de-clutter and re-organize. To feel more in control and coherent, not to mention what's going to become of all this crap anyway!?
I never thought of myself as a material person. I've never had an entire "good" outfit top to bottom, always missing the right shoes or jacket or some thing....My furniture is not nice. Well, except for my bed. and maybe my dining/kitchen table...(made by those wood working Amish!) My appliances are replaced when they break for good. Heck I still have the iphone 4 (but it's fine!) (but I should upgrade...) So why do I feel so attached to all this "stuff"? I don't know! I mean notes from children, I get that...but 4 boxes of that type of thing??
Also I found a 'Teen World' magazine from 1968, I doubt if it was even mine since I wasn't yet a teen in '68, but here's the thing. They had a two page spread advertising Pen-Pals with the kids' photos, addresses, hobbies, and ages! Can you imagine? Did anyone have lasting pen-pals? I always wished to. I guess I always liked writing. The Monkees were the big feature in this mag, by the way. One headline reads: The monkees' Naughty Nights! (who knew?)
This year I'm going to get rid of stuff. Little by little, but I am. Im certain that I will be better off, living a little lighter. I don't want a bunch of STUFF. I'm over it! I suppose it's fair to state that I won't be getting rid of my photographs, record albums, artwork, super old dishes, plants, or books. But it is a start, this purging feeling. And now that I've written it, it feels more official. So there. I halfway have a new habit!
I like to make lists. Always have. I don't always make "to do" lists but when I do, I actually DO get more done. Maybe it is the supreme reward of crossing it off. LOOK HOW MUCH I ACCOMPLISHED! I have even been known to jot down one or two things on to do's that I know I've done or almost finished... just so I'm sure I can cross something off. (I also sometimes draw my lists) That's because I am driven to make my lists creatively. That way, just in case I don't finish up much on there, I still have something nice; the list. Lists are among the funniest 'found' items too. Do you guys ever look at that FOUND site? Where people find (usually written) items and take pix of them and sometimes they are drop dead hilarious? I loved the idea of FOUND when I first stumbled across it. I lost a few hours consequently,just reading funny ( and sometimes sad) found notes and lists. Same thing when I discovered Missed Connections. There is an artist named Sophie Blackall who illustrated a whole glorious book of Missed Connections. It is a joy to peruse. And then there is pinterest... love/hate. But mostly love. Only hate because I get so sucked in... (lost time again) and because, depending on my mood, I can get to feeling very inadequate in my creative life...or very inspired! How are there so many creative people out there?? and here I sit like a blob, eating this whole bag of everything-bagel-chips while wishing my kitchen looked like that. and that. or that... ahhhhh the visual beauty.
Maybe I'll paint my workroom! Maybe I'll rearrange my (thousands of) books! Maybe I'll get rid of the bins of kids toys and utilize that space in some amazing way! (my kids are all grown up) Maybe I'll make something incredibly cool and hang it! But chances are...I will not.
I like to make lists. That way I am making an effort and it's also quite helpful to me as I am easily distracted. I used to do gratitude lists...you know like 'write down 3 things every day I am grateful for' type of thing. When I would look back at them I would realize I was often grateful for the same things over and over! So I stopped doing it because I'm pretty sure one of the points of writing down those things was to stimulate my brain to think of various endless things that I appreciate. I also used to make New Year resolution type lists. January! Clean slate time! Eh, now I make monthly goal lists. More realistic for me. When I was a young girl, I used to make incessant lists of favorites. But we didn't have the world wide web then.
I still love to write stuff down. I love my old journals and hope they don't just end up in the trash bin when I die. Cuz theyre cool. and full of lists. x #500wordsaday
LIKE me. Don't like me. Are you like me? I enjoy titles that can be interpreted in multiple ways...
This writing project is really something new for me and so I decided to post my 500 words a day writings to my 'blog' on my website. I had not made use of the 'blog' link previously, however I have thought about it. (Oh, the many things I have THOUGHT about and not done...) I have a very small (minuscule) business called Barnwords where I paint words (primarily) on old barn wood boards and people buy them. Mostly people I know, but I've proudly sold a few to strangers.
I used to become quite frustrated as to why people who obviously liked my signs (they bought one for crying out loud) would NOT like my facebook page, Barnwords. I even made it easy for them by asking them to do it. I had hoped for traffic through the page originally, but now I am concentrating on the website. I am quite inexperienced at social networking as a means to sell or get seen.
I mean, I knew tons of other artists who had thousands of likers... why can't I? Funny how these phantom "likes" that I was missing seemed so important to me. Also worth noting I suppose, is that I am only talking about the business page. I am not interested in strangers as "friends" on FB, generally speaking.
Since posting on the website blog, I've had a HUGE increase in traffic to the site. Pretty cool. However, I have absolutely no idea WHO is visiting it. There is even a little FB icon at the bottom of the blog posts and people click "like" but the irony is... I have no way to see WHO these likers are! It seems rather funny. In the past, I just wanted likes...now I can't even see who is liking my posts. Oh, the irony. Anyway, it made me wonder about how we all want to be liked. Even when we don't care. I have always been one who "likes" the things I really like...not just because it seemed "nice to do"... and it's certainly more likely that we would LIKE something that we relate to in some way, as well.
During the course of reading these posts the past 8 days, Ive read many, many wonderful writings. SO MANY. I love being exposed to new ideas, new thoughts, new stories, new words. You all are an inspiring bunch! But whenever I read one that I relate to personally...It's like a jolt of excitement! (Hey they're LIKE me!!) I think it's probably a human attribute to want that connection with someone else, feeling like someone thinks like you do. I still feel very out of my league here, by the way, however I love participating for some reason. And I really want to see if I can go the whole 30 days...I like a challenge like that. like like like. x #500wordsaday
Wasn't sure what I was going to write about today. I think I'll tell a (true) story.
When my youngest was 16 years old he auditioned to be on the television show called 'Americas Got Talent'. He was accepted to move on to subsequent rounds in other cities including Las Vegas before making it through to be one of the final 48 acts appearing on live TV in Hollywood. He is a yoyoer. Never mind that most of America doesn't realize yoyoing exists on this level, I am sure I wouldn't either if I didn't live with one. The fact that he was a minor, required an adult (me) to be with him on all trips and shows. We live in a tiny town in northern Illinois and Ian had never been to Los Angeles before this. He was beyond excited. Thrilled is an understatement. I, on the other hand was a bit hesitant about the whole television thing, but going to LA for 8 days on someone else's dime was definitely good with me.
I have a weird relationship with television-I like it but hardly watched it, I hate the fake bullshit of this sort of television. If you've seen this show, you may know what I am talking about. Generally speaking, I am the opposite of him in wanting to be performing on a stage. Reams of paperwork had to be signed by both of us before each chapter of the journey and reading through a lot of it was frankly, scary. IF he had won, we basically were required to sign the following 2 years of his life over to this entity.
Being up close and personal with these days of filming the show were pretty educational. I learned a lot and realized (probably already knew, on some level) how fake and false these "live" shows were. Everything is staged. Everything is planned. Which is really fine, except that so many people watch these types of shows, believing that it is spontaneous and genuine when some performer says something simple. The upside of the entire experience for me and probably for Ian as well, was the fascinating, bizarre and incredibly friendly performers we shared our week with. We were in a group of 12. Eleven other talents to make friends with on the long days of waiting. Some days our call was 9:15 AM and he was not called until 6:45 PM...to be filmed saying one sentence that the producer had heard him say and liked and decided it should be filmed... all of which took exactly 4 and a half minutes.
So we had A LOT of time to get to know others. That was really interesting. Without this chance,would we ever have become friends with completely tattooed sword swallowers who could hang things from their eyelids? Young people who jump-roped for a living? Three young singing kids who were like 6? Magicians and jugglers and a wonderful guy who sang like Elvis? And the one who won that year - an amazing guy who sang like Frank Sinatra- was in our group! I remember an awesome story he shared with me about his life in a rural southern state...memories to last. People are just fascinating, honestly. x #500wordsaday