Wednesday, November 8, 2017


I travel a lot and i know it’s all about being PATIENT. You have to allow enough time for everything and you have to be PATIENT. You have to expect delays, crying children, rude people and tired people. It’s all part of the process. 

So recently i flew to Albuquerque on Southwest. The minute i got to the airport, there was problem after problem. Again, i understand and knew to be patient and try and go with the flow. 

Trying to check in, there, of course, was only one agent - so that took forever. Then a SW worker called me for my turn but to use the kiosk thingy, which was NOT WORKING. Meanwhile others behind me in line were finishing up and going there way while i stood there waiting for someone to fix the machine. That’s when my body temp went up a few degrees. Finally i announced loudly that i would be next with the agent and dragged my crap back to the line. 

Finally got my boarding pass, which was on my phone- but i needed my luggage checked. Great. Head down to security (everyone’s favorite !) but i have TSA pre approval, which makes it so much easier. Go get in the TSA line,  security hasn’t even opened yet as it’s early. So we are waiting in line and the lines are getting long. Finally an agent saunters over and tells us, “ no TSA pre check today, go get in the main line”. Wtf? Okay, well you’ve been sitting there watching us line up and now we have to go to the end of the main HUGE line snaking around the corner? There goes my patience out the window. If there’s no precheck- then post an agent at the line to direct people immediately. How hard is that? 

 This kind of public frustration is even more annoying because there is no control. You just have to do as they say and keep  your mouth shut. The TSA employees at Newark anyway must be told in their job descriptions “don’t smile”, “don’t be helpful” “act like you could give a shit about people”, etc. So we merge into the long line and no one is happy about it. 

Finally get up to hand my boarding pass with license to check point Charlie and they open the precheck lane and all these people just breeze on by!!!! OMG. Really? I’ve been standing in that line for an hour. Seething at this point. Where’s their communication? 

Get thru and head down to the gates only to find out that agent didn’t write the gate on my boarding pass and none of the gates have their info yet. I have no idea which is mine. Go back a little ways and find an agent and ask, “how do i know what gate to go to?” Quite possibly the least helpful employee of the year was this man. Sitting on his ass, he says,” go down there and ask an agent. “. Really? You think i didn’t think of that? There is not one agent down there at the gates. Nada BECAUSE I LOOKED ALREADY. (That was me yelling at that at him). #%€{¥!!!

That’s when i tweeted TSA to tell them what i thought of their employees. Finally after milling around the gate area for about 30 minutes, they illuminated their signs with info. And nothing is open. Can’t get coffee or food.
Boarding finally begins and the guy in front of me was probably related to a sloth. I just want to get on the plane and sit down. He’s just putzing around, on his phone, clueless. Finally like a car at the traffic light, i had to honk at him to move it along. 

He gets to the end on that breeway to the plane and then holds us up by finishing his coffee. (Wasn’t he lucky to get one?) and he’s draining every last drop, so i finally said screw it, and went around him. This is when i first encountered the flight attendant that would really test my patience for the rest of the day. She asked me what boarding number they were at and i said, 1&2  me being two and sat down. Then sloth man finally shows up and she wants to know his number and he says 1. Oh! Well here we go- she comes over and wants to know why i cut in front of him. Seriously? And is this really important? With gritted teeth, i said, because he just spent 5 minutes draining his beverage, so i went around him. (Why am i explaining this?) 

During beverage service she never brought me my coffee. Everyone else got their beverage. Finally almost an hour later she brought me a cold coffee saying she got sidetracked. She also yelled at me when i got up to go to the bathroom saying someone else was waiting. (You can’t wait in line for the bathroom anymore. You have to wait for the “no one is in the bathroom sign” to light up before you can come up).  Uh, I’m pretty sure everyone is waiting for a chance to go The bathroom. Whatever lady. 

As we neared Chicago, fog prevented us from landing and we were diverted to Lexington, where we sat on the tarmac for an hour an a half!!!!! We weren’t allow to stand up, go to the bathroom, nothing.  “All against regulations because we are on the tarmac”. Cramping leg, Hot as hell, kid behind me kicking my seat  and i have to really pee again. Not to mention the woman next to me was a total space hog  and was all in my space. I’m claustrophobic and really felt like i would lose my shit. 

I had been posting on fb and the interaction was a nice diversion. Then someone messaged me on fb. A person I’m friends with but don’t know from adam. It was a woman from Buenes Aires  and she was speaking Spanish to me. (I don’t speak Spanish). So i had no clue what she wanted or was saying. She kept messaging me so i decided to go to my translator app and figure out what she was saying. Well i ended up chatting with her for about 45 minutes. She’d typed something and then I’d copy/paste it into translator and then translate my answer back to her. It took awhile but was giving me something to do. She was complimenting my art a lot which was nice. In the end i thanked her and told her my situation and that it was a great way to spend that time. She answered back, “ yes i know! I wanted to give you something to do”. how fun was that? 

Finally landed in Chicago feeling exhausted but not quite as pissy. Now it was a matter of catching my connection  flight, which is a whole other story for another time. 

Monday, November 6, 2017


I’m having a hard time tonight. A good friend died unexpectedly last week and it’s crushing my soul.  I’m making do this week. Day by day- still alive as someone died. These feelings Always takes me back to 2 things: what happened to tucker and the death of my best friend, Michele. 

My friend, Maija, passed away last week. What an amazing woman she was. I’m sorry i never grabbed her, looked her in the eye and said- “sister, you are fucking amazing”. Heavily, tears fall from my eyes and they don’t seem to want to let up. 

On instagram, i started following a sweet, special needs pup, name tucker. Tonight, i learned he has passed away. Heartbreaking because it’s reality of how fragile life is - something i fear every day for my child. I cried over every video:relating this sweet dog to my child. It’s a loss to the core. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

How I came to get my new kitten

Around July, I noticed a beautiful calico roaming the neighborhood. The dogs would bark at her as she sauntered by and then disappeared into the woods. 

Let me back up. A few months earlier, My husband had put down a moratorium, saying “no more cats”. (After my Lilly passed away, I had said I wanted another kitty, but every time I brought it up, the idea was met with resistance.). So I decided to put it out to the universe that if I couldn’t adopt a cat, then could a cat please adopt me?  

So when I saw this calico, I went out and bought some dry food. When I’d see her, I’d run out and shake the box at her. I’d see her sporadically and then not again for about a month or so. 

Eventually she showed up again and 
, I began the process of feeding her again. Eventually I got her to come over to our side yard. She’d sit under Tucker’s van and wait for us to feed her. I started calling her kitty girl. 

After a few days of feeding her and seeing her up close, I suspected she was pregnant and probably due anytime. 

Then on a Tuesday, we had a new roof put on. We didn’t see her all day and suspected it was probably too noisy for her. We saw her again Wednesday  morning and I noticed right away that she had given birth. Thus began the great adventure of finding the kittens. 

She’d come two, sometimes 3 times a day to eat. We started giving her probiotics and a vitamin supplement and also adding chicken to her diet for added protein. She was big into hissing at us and wouldn’t let us get to close to her, but she began coming up onto the porch and waiting for us to come out with her food. She was working hard. Then she’d head off into the woods. A few times I snuck behind her and began to think I knew where she was headed. 

I came up with the plan to follow her. So next morning when she came, Jeff fed her and I ran into the woods ahead of her and hid behind the garage of the house where I thought she was going. The Jeff called out, “she’s coming back”, so I ducked down behind some bushes and waited. 

When she walked by, the other side of the garage, I walked parallel to her and peaked around the corner of the yard. She snuck under a blue tarp that was covering old furniture, a mattress and other junk like that. She had her babies in the back yard of some neighbors who had let their property go and it was junk and trash. We’d also heard they had sold the property as is, so we began to feel like we needed to find those babies quickly for their safety and before they went feral. 

I spent the next few days doing the same thing. While she ate, I’d discreetly try and look in the pile. I was starting to get uncomfortable being on their property, so the next time I saw one of them, I casually said I was trying to track a stray cat and could I check the back yard. (I really didn’t want them knowing about the kittens). 

The next morning, with permission granted, I ran over there and finally found them! There was a mattress leaning against an old recliner and when I lifted it , there they were!   I thought there would be more, but gratefully, there were only 3. 

I was working with a feral cat rescue group and the plan now that the babies were found, was to take them when they were about 4 weeks old, where they would begin a foster program. Then we would capture momma and have her spayed. 

Around 3 weeks, I came home to find momma  sitting at the bottom of our ramp which was very unusual. I knew something was up. So while she ate, I snuck over to the property and sure enough, that back area was now being used, bikes parked by tarp, garage door open. That meant the wayward daughter “with issues” was home. I didn’t like it. 

It was decided I would go over in 2 days and get the babies. Longest 2 days ever. Finally that morning I snuck over early, my heart pounding. Pulled back the mattress to get them  and they were gone. I didn’t know what to think. Had she moved them or had the homeowners found them? 

To be continued. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

it is my goal to begin blogging again.

An art friend, Andrew, recently made a post, daring people to blog again. Yeah, why did I stop blogging? Maybe because I thought people had stopped reading, which yeah, they had. My last blog post was in 2015.  Facebook makes it convenient to catch up with people with little effort except to scroll. Except facebook is more of those minute by minute sort of thoughts running through our heads and then, THE POLITICS. Don't get me started on all that bull crap. The fighting, the anger, ugh. I pretty much only posted and tried not to get caught up in it. Who needs all that sort of ugliness?
So it's been running through my head again to start blogging again. So here I am.

I thought I'd dedicate my first post to a good friend of mine, Maija Lepore, who passed away last week. It was shocking news and news spread quite quickly. She had been ill, but they weren't sure what was going on. Right before she died, they finally realized that she had pancreatic cancer. (And my info is coming second hand, so if I find I am mistaken, I will correct the info). We hadn't been in touch as much in the last few years, as things go, but once in awhile, she'd text me or I'd text her or she'd send me a box of my most favorite toffee, from Enstrom's (made in Colorado, where she lived)

Mostly I knew Maija from art retreats. She loved them as much as I did. Originally, I think we met via blogging and then one year we both went to Artnest in Utah, and it  ended up that we were roommates. She was the very friendly type and made quick friends with everyone. She was so well loved. A few years ago, when I was driving cross country, I stayed with her and Al for a few days. We had the best time. She had all these funs things planned for us to do and really made me feel quite welcome. It was a wonderful visit and I'm grateful I got that one on one time with her. They took me out for a lovely dinner the night before I left.

Maija was not fond of funerals, so there will be no funeral. Instead there will be a celebration of life on November 18. I will be flying out there to attend. I absolutely must go and toast to a wonderful lady, who will be terribly missed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Portland with Flora Bowley

Hello world! I've just returned from a painting workshop in Portland with the fabulous Flora Bowley! It was my birthday treat to myself and I made the most of it. 

So many of you know that I've been painting in the style for about 6 years now. I've taken previous classes with Flora and also began my painting journey with Jesse Reno. So why would I go take another class if I already know how to do it?

Easy, because I wanted to. Flora is a very gentle and inspiring teacher. Her yoga experience (as a teacher) shines through as she encourages her students in positive ways. I had not yet seen her new studio, so right there, is a new reason to experience. 

I'm so glad I went. I've been on the road to new horizons of late and it was good to get out side of my life for a bit. It gives me a chance to be ME.  Not a wife, not a mom, just ME. It gives me a chance to also to meet and bond with new people who are getting to meet ME. 

And I did learn new things. I make the same mistake over and over again and it was fun to tackle that during the weekend. I tried new colors, new shapes, worked in darker colors and just explored. The last day and a half I was pretty tired, so I bought another canvas and went back into my comfort zone of creating my little characters and then practicing some of Floras exercises within those shapes. 

This post is to tell you that if you've always DREAMED about taking a workshop with an admired artist, then it's high time you put that dream into motion. Make a list. Make goals. What do you do to make it happen? do you need 2 years to save up? then start saving! stop making excuses and figure out how to make it happen! and we are all guilty of making excuses , so that's not said as a judgement - it's said to encourage. 

Follow along with my photo essay. It's my hope that you can feel connected in some way . Cheers.

Life through my eyes

this is VERY important. Learn to listen to what's happening inside. Process those feelings and figure out how to express them in a positive and rewarding way. 

Lose yourself in the moment. Experiment. Embrace the ugly. Explore new colors. Get out of your comfort zone, but also now when you need time to be in your comfort zone. 

Treat and indulge yourself. This time I rented a place (Flora's airbnb loft) all by myself and glorified in all the space I had to myself. Lots of breathing room is important to me; otherwise I find myself feeling trapped. 

Connect with animals. They are good for the soul. Delight in how others are affected by such caring and unconditionally loved creatures. 

Go have dinner with strangers. I guarantee you'll leave feeling more rewarded for meeting new and interesting people. We all have  our own stories and I think you'll find that we are all doing the best we can.

look around you and be inspired by what is happening to those also there to experience something new. 

I don't care who you are, we all need clarity. Clarity opens the door for change. I needed clarity this year after my bff died. It took a toll on me. I needed to process the situation and understand the impact it had on my life and those who loved her. But at the same time, I also knew by allowing that time, I would find myself on a new path. One she would approve of. 

Find new authors. underline things they say that you can relate too. Put those words in your paintings. I think you'll find that they correlate to how you are feeling at this juncture in your life. 

Try to see yourself as others see you. It's fun to hear  what a fabulous, interesting person you are!

Connect and make new friends!

Find beauty in the smallest of things. The snacks we were served, were not only SCRUMPTIOUS and HEALTY, but beautiful. 

Notice the magic in the air, whether its the building excitement, the decor or new smells. Take time to appreciate all the work that went into making your journey happen. Flora's assistants were absolutely amazing in creating a low stress environment for everyone. They were on hand to help out in any way. This is truly a gift for both student and teacher. 

Try new foods.  Break out of that same old same old BORING routine! This whole week for me was all about trying new things!

Observe things that catch your eye. This is simple decor made out of cardboard and I loved it and want to create my own. Make a conscious effort to follow through on such ideas. 

Take plenty of pictures. I was obsessed with this window and altar. I must have taken the same shot over and over, but during various times of the day. The blue hues from outside to the green inside. The statue with "flourish" was written just for me, not really, but I made it mine inside. 

More magic! I've seen this umbrella before and fell in love with it. And here it is again for me to love all weekend. Again, appreciation in things that make you happy. 

Become best friends with Pearl. This should be #1 on your list. 

Listen, take notes and observe. Make mental decisions on how to proceed with no judgement on yourself. You are here to learn. Keep your expectations low and remember this is brand new. 

Be gentle with yourself and keep yourself in the front of the line mentally (behind Pearl though) on how important you are. Loving your fabulous self is what makes an experience turn remarkable. 

Be GLEEFUL! This photo from an exercise just says it all. Soak in the environment, the new processes and ENJOY. Don't be shy, don't be timid, don't be embarrassed. You be that all at home. Now is the time to SHINE. 

Ask someone to take some working photos of you. I delight in taking them and I delight in seeing them of me. It documents that precious process and is a reminder that, "Hey, I am pretty cool". 

More appreciation of my surrounds = magic

Beautiful rocks dropped under water following an exercise on intention. Capturing the essence helps me relive the moment and thus embracing my intention once again. 

Yeah, it's Pearl and me again. Bff goal with Pearl going well!

Create your own photo scenes with things you like. This coral shaped heart was in one spot and I loved the fabric doily, so I united them for a beautiful photo. 

Very cliche, but I love pictures involving my feet and what is happening in front of me. I was thinking of all the other women who have stood right there being brave and vulnerable. From the paint drips on the wall, I felt their spirit.

Make a crazy mess and disregard the outcome. Practice the here and now, not tomorrow or the next day. Right now only. 

Don't be afraid to get messy! I had paint on my clothes, hands, face, mouth, ears, purse, shoes - you name it. It was even on my new skirt. I don't care! It's not ruined, it's only enhanced. I embrace imperfection - it makes me happy and feel happy. 

Listen to a wonderful story. Feel amazing that someone is reading you a book. That hasn't happened since I was a child. Made me feel very special. Practice gratitude when wonderful things like this happen. 

Draw your mood; understand your feelings. Negative or Positive, they all count. I felt sad after our yoga class, so it was good to put it on paper and also share with my neighbor who listened and understood. 

More appreciation for what is going on outside my own bubble. It's not always about us. The world is  a BIG place! You can learn alot from walking away from yourself for a bit. 

Little pods like this make me happy. Listening in on the chitter chatter makes me happy. Observing, makes me happy. 

Candles and flowers, always a favorite. 

Surprise someone with photos you took of them. I know they were grateful to be noticed. 

Ask questions. Your voice is important. Make sense of your confusion.

Be so excited to hear a handsome shy young man play the cora. Go buy his CD and ask him to autograph it . Smile with happiness that he is surprised at how much we adored him. 

 Observe the shy (or just quiet)  and sneak in pics. Remember to tell her how beautiful that purple is!

Remember to refuel- learning a new method is exhausting.

Explore an idea that catches in your mind!

Mingle, socialize! It's important - appreciate the very rare opportunity for fellowship!

More beautiful flowers while others work hard.  Such combinations around the room invite color and shapes into the dialogue. I like Katie, an assistant, up top, right corner, doing her thing. 

Marvel at how different all the paintings look

Marvel at the extensive out pouring of work as we all bought more and more canvases! Our enjoyment got the best of us!

A new friend and I worked on each other's paintings when we needed a push in a new direction.  The end result was FUN and exciting.  It also encouraged others to be brave and do the same thing. 

need i say more about this?

Pomegranates  and roses - the color scheme alone is perfect for a palette 

and if anything else:

slide show!