I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
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Sunday, January 29, 2017


Bro3 was the definition of "mischief" as he ran away from me to do exciting, fun, dangerous things and causing me a world of anxiety for his safety.  My puppy ran through the house with the end of the toilet paper, wrapping it around table legs and up steps until I could flatten him in a corner.  I have a lot of stories about Bro3 and that particular dog.  I'm still torn between exasperation and hilarity since neither of them actually died in their adventures.

Dog allowed me to leave the house for a limited amount of time.  If I was late, he took everything out of the refrigerator, including all those expired condiments I'd forgotten about, and arranged them all over the kitchen floor with the fridge door hanging wide open.  He sat in the middle of his plunder and gave me that look of "you deserve this for neglecting me".  I used baby locks, duct tape, and heavy furniture to keep him out of the fridge.  Nothing stopped him except my timely arrival.

Another time, the dog family was left in the fenced yard for the afternoon.  I came home to a rabbit head on my floor.  Ew.  Thankfully, I had a brother around for head removal while I checked out the rest of the house for the bunny's corpse.  It was laid out on my cedar chest, skinned and gutted, with icky slime oozing on the floor.  Hey Bro!  Would you mind taking this out too?  Yuck.  I cleaned it all up, and then wandered around saying, "this doesn't feel quite finished yet".  The cookbook, which had been inside the upper kitchen cupboard, was in the back yard.  The index was dog ripped to R stands for Rabbit.  That dog was so smart it's a good thing he didn't have opposable thumbs.

I don't suppose I have much of a point in all this other than to say we need "good" people keeping the world going round in predictable ways.  The mischievous make that world more fun (exasperating, anxious) and they give us stories.  I don't know what the proper proportion of good to mischievous should be, but I'm sure we need at least a few around.

We need raccoons too.  I'm not really sure why, but the world would be less interesting without them getting in garbage cans and fishing in decorative back yard ponds.  I spent a day this summer watching a coon family teasing my dog and trying to nab my fish.  The baby coons were just too adorable as they played in a weaving string of cuteness up and down and around trees, dropping sticks on my dog, barking at her barking.

Just doodles without much reason, but should "mischief" have reason?  I'm not talking about nasty mischief at any rate, just teasing play where nobody gets hurt.  But the more I think of doodles, the more I think that they're very important.  They're a meditation, sometimes give us an insight into ourselves, give us ideas for future projects.  I don't know that these will turn into anything other than what they are, but I can see making a raccoon like this out of cardboard.  Maybe waterproof it and put it by the pond to protect the fish?

Also, it's come to my attention that some people feel stressed when doodling because they're "not good at it".  Um?  You don't have to be good at it.  Nobody grades it or calls you incompetent, or if they do, get rid of those people.  Draw nonsense lines if that's what makes you feel happy.  Scribble with your eyes closed and see what happens.  Let a little mischief into your life.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


My dreams have been busy lately.  Awake or asleep, My thoughts swirl around people I know and have known.  I yelled at a man 20 or 30 years ago, "Stupid, and damned proud of it!"  He laughed and cracked open another beer.  Apply his ways to my conundrums on a personal or national level, and it explains a lot, which isn't to say I like reality.

I overheard a couple of climate change deniers discussing their concerns about whether or not fruit trees will be confused by the weather which is in the 60s F in mid-January.  These women understand trees could bloom, and that winter may return and freeze the blossoms, but they don't believe human activities are a factor, even though they agree January has never been this warm.  They're only going to admit to a problem when apple prices go up, but really, not even then.  They never admit they were wrong.

Another woman said, "A lot of scientists say climate change isn't real."  I emailed her the NASA website which disproves that statement (without my personal commentary).  She said I should look at other "news" to get the other side of things and gave me a newspaper with an article trashing Joe Biden, none of which was true or current.

I feel like Michelle Obama at the 2017 inauguration and hoping that US democracy isn't swirling down the drain.

I do in fact read what the opposition has to say, and it worries me about a lot of things, but I'm also trying to feel optimistic that the structure of the US is strong enough to withstand its current challenges.  We've had some terrible presidents before and survived.  Well, some people survived.  A lot of people didn't.  But hey, I'm trying to be optimistic.  I'm even trying to get my head around the inevitable Pence presidency as if it isn't a calamity.  At least he isn't pathological (I hope).

This troll has been in my mind for the last year.  It may not be my most charitable creative effort, but it just had to exist.  I'm not talking about the model for it because he just gets stronger every time his name is mentioned like clapping for fairies in Peter Pan.

Enough of my political angst.  One of the reasons I started thinking of the beer drinker was as a character in my slightly dusted off novel.  I actually have a lot written, but only a small part is actually worth much.  It occurred to me that I need an actual plot and found this article helpful.  I've spent some days pondering about the goal of my story and how I'm going to get there.  My plot isn't entirely filled in, but I have made progress.

I've also thought a lot about why I stopped writing this novel.  My lack of plot made me feel adrift and I couldn't get centered.  I talked about this with someone who made a series of personal criticisms of me and my writing, which I consciously rejected, but which undermined my subconscious motivation.  I'm going to avoid people like that.

It's going to take a long time before I have something to show on this project, but I've made a commitment to myself to write something every day, even if what I write is bad at first.  Progress takes effort.  I'll try to keep that in mind as I watch politics too.

Friday, January 13, 2017


The power went out when I was sleeping the other day.  Harumpf.  I rolled over and went back to sleep.  1 1/2 hrs of extra sleep later, there still wasn't any power.  I thought I'd watch tv since I couldn't do my usual internet stuff.  Oh.  Yeah.  Well, my brain isn't the sharpest first thing in the morning.

Thankfully, it wasn't a real cold day.  I read a book while my puppy warmed my feet until the electric guys showed up.  I watched with interest as they maneuvered a cherry picker into my back yard and worked on my lines in a torrential down pour while I drank tea inside, counting my blessings I didn't have to fix electrical lines.

The power still didn't come on for hours.  I had computer withdrawal.  There's so many ways to waste time online, and I'm clearly not self-disciplined enough to stop getting my dopamine fixes.  The holidays are over, it's time to make a plan for the future.  Or a plan to get a plan?  Ooh, email!  Hmm, a documentary on Jeffrey Daumer.  I can make a plan tomorrow, right?

I used to toss a leaf on the water and observe where it went.  Another leaf at the same entry point would go somewhere else.  All the water was running in the same direction, but the leaves didn't follow the same path.  The Tao of Pooh, or maybe it was Te of Piglet, says to be like the leaf on the water.  Don't worry about other leaves.  Don't fight the current, floating is easy and takes you where you need to be.

In this context, making a plan is hard for me right now.  I'm afraid if I don't get one together soon, bad things will result, or good things will be delayed.  Yet, the distractions in life are also the journey.  Educational videos online help me sort my thoughts and discard some baggage.  Emails are helpful and/or supportive.  Maybe the best possible use of my time is what feels good to do right now?

I pulled a muscle in my arm.  I re-injured it because I overdid it again.  Maybe my arm would be better by now if I just sit down and chill a while?  But no, I slipped on the last basement step, spraining my ankle and foot.  I figure the power outage was the universe forcing me to take it easy.  I've finally decided to cooperate with the master plan.

I have ideas for the future, but I've been fighting with myself about what I'm going to do.  Some of these ideas will take a long time to complete and require research, but I want to make money now!  So, will I waste time fighting myself, or just do what my heart wants to do?  I betcha I'm not the only one having this kind of internal dialogue.

I got an email from a friend who is "working towards independence".  If I know this guy, his independence will turn  out great because he's driven.  He didn't detail what he's doing, but I can picture it.  I feel enthusiastic for him.  That enthusiasm for him makes me feel more motion within myself for my undefined goals.  See, the internet isn't a waste of time (entirely), it's just a rock in the river bumping me in a new direction.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


I've been working on my throat chakra which is associated with verbal expression, speaking our truth.  To clear our throats, we're to speak, shout, hum... sing.

I damaged my singing voice years ago, yelling at an unruly kid when I was substitute teaching.  Something tore inside.  Recently, a singer on tv described a similar injury.  She exercised her throat, starting gently and working her way up to full throttle.  I thought, "I can do that!"  So, I've been singing.  It hasn't been perfect, but it's getting better.  My dog looks less worried anyway.

From the musical Grease, I softly sang Rizzo's flirtations, but I belted out the last verse with full volume and accuracy.

I could hurt someone like me, out of spite or jealousy... I can feel and I can cry, a fact I'll bet you never knew, but to cry in front of you, that's the worst thing I could do.

I can do Cat Stevens' "Father and Son" pretty well too.  Apparently I sing feelings.

All the times that I've cried, keeping all the things I knew inside.  It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it.  If they were right, I'd agree, but it's them they know not me.  Now there's a way, and I know that I have to go away.

No doubt my throat chakra is messed up because I kept my mouth shut working for The Church, where intelligent, informed women aren't appreciated.  To prove this, they hired a completely incompetent man and demanded I teach Skippy how to do said job.  Perhaps you know me well enough by now to guess how I reacted?  They tossed in bullying and sexual harassment just to make sure I got the full Catholic experience.

Before you ask, they're allowed to bully employees.  While Skippy is younger than me, he's over 40 so the age discrimination rights are weak.  While multiple lawyers told me I have a case for the sexual harassment (which I documented and reported), they said the Catholic church is a well-oiled, armored machine to combat lawsuits.  (Ex. decades of unprosecuted pedophilia cases.)  AND, they're exempt from paying Unemployment benefits.  I've thought of clearing my throat chakra by screaming.

The top priest said he'd write me a letter of recommendation because I'm a conscientious worker.  "We're just going in a different direction" -- which is the opposite of the BS they promised when they hired Skippy.  In case you didn't know, priests lie.  A lot.

You may have noticed there was some time I skipped blogging in 2016.  Now you know why.  I hung onto the job for a while during and after this blackout, but I wasn't ready to talk about it through the limping, conflicted end.  I also really didn't want to blast everyone with my rage -- especially when all of this too neatly coincided with Trump and his followers' sexism.  2016 sucked.  Yay for 2017?  Oh, right, Trump won.  Fffff...

Onto the future.  My liberation may work in the convoluted way of the universe?  I'm looking forward to creative projects truer to my nature and beliefs.  The lawyers say I can talk about The Church as much as I'd like as long as it's true.  OMG that's a lot of material to work with!  It's the prize for allowing myself to be stifled for a paycheck.  I have a scathing book idea :)

In a nutshell, it sucks, I'm glad to be free of it, I have enough savings to get by for while as I figure out what to do with myself, and I partly wonder if I brought this on myself by envying my college pal's free and creative lifestyle?  Ask and you shall receive -- but be careful what you wish for!

I did this art my first year of blogging in 2010.  It seems like a long time ago, but also kind of like hitting restart in more ways than one.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


My year-end index is a mental review.  What did we talk about?  What mattered?  What can I learn from it, and how to move forward?  I've reread the posts and some old journals too because there are things I want to release.  I don't want to carry old anger and disappointments into the new year.

I discovered in my journals that I was sick all the time when I was married.  I had a breast infection for 2 years that wouldn't heal plus other ailments and infections, some requiring surgery.  Of course my husband thought I was entirely at fault for falling apart and had a lot of demands for fixing me.  "What I need...", I said to my doctor.  "What you need is a DIVORCE!" Doc said before sending me to the hospital in an ambulance.  He was right.  I got healthy in an amazingly short time after I followed his advice and haven't had those kinds of medical problems since.

I read my journals to see if I've neglected to purge any of my ex's negativity.  He often said "I can't make you feel anything", and it was "just words" anyway.  But his insidious words crept into my psyche and kept hurting long after, because the really sick part of people like this is they get you to do all that re-wounding to yourself.  They plant doubts and criticisms we replay in our minds.  I felt powerless to defend myself.  I didn't have a place to go.  Remembering all this makes 2016 look somewhat better, and it was a sucky year.

I want to let it go.  New years are new beginnings, even if the date is arbitrary.  The challenge is that it doesn't take much effort to say something nasty.  It's harder for the recipient to release it.  You can't do that until you're ready, and you can't talk yourself into being ready.  You have to feel it, but until you do, hanging onto your pain slowly kills you and your achievements.

Human relations are messy and necessary, but toxic relationships are just destructive with a bit of frosting on top to keep you in the game.  I stumbled across more verbal abuse by an ex-boss in my journals, and thought of other hurtful people I've known.  It's a shared experience we don't talk about enough, but I doubt we talk much about things that really matter.  Smile and suffer quietly so you don't disturb others, but that kind of advice protects abusers and doesn't give us tools to actually achieve happiness.

All of us are responsible for what we say, and that includes what we replay in our minds.  Be nicer to yourself.

I want to say optimistic things for the new year, and talking about negativity seems, uh, negative?  But I'm trying to say something hopeful.  All of us can talk in helpful ways to others.  We don't have to carry the past in ways that hurt us.  We learn, we grow, we discover our happiness through our intentions to do so.  It's the best New Year's resolution I can come up with at any rate.  What's yours?

Wishing you happiness, achievements, peace, and plenty in the New Year!