"We Three"

"We Three"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Grace, just send me a little grace...

Swans are grace in the medicine wheel, and I always feel heartened when they show up, so I made one, just in case I don't pull one, and I didn't. I pulled mountain lion, which is actually one of my totems, leadership. Explains my proclivity of running for student body offices when I was in school. That, and wanting to look good, without actually being good. Didn't work very well. Another day, a little less sadness, a little less heaviness. Had a good cry last night, when I was sitting here and I thought I felt Boo under the desk, where he always was when I was there. Missed him just something awful in that moment. Today, I just piddled away at stuff, two paintings came out of it, and some time loving up the Pickle, and some time playing the piano(!), which I seem to have been avoiding. Now watching Eureka marathon on SciFi and looking forward to a new episode tonight, along with Warehouse 13 and Rizzoli and Isles. Okay, I am a cheap date. That is the secret to happiness in my book. Oh, and finishing up that potboiler novel and starting another, with probably even less literary value. What can I say? It's who I am.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Strange days...

It looks on the surface like life as usual around here. In reality, I feel like someone upended the house and set it down again. Everything seems weirdly off. Bizarre. Most turned upside down are my insides, that feel bruised and heavy. I am doing better at eating, and find that working in the pastels is a blessed surcease of the inner turmoils. So I did this little one today, very fast, of kingfishers, one of my favorite birds. I did one from a Van Gogh painting in my very first art class. I gave it away. I miss it. Missing things is what is up in this time. It's just another phase of life on life's terms, of course. Navigating unfamiliar waters, and gee, not the first time. Testing my recovery big time. It is intact even when I feel fractured.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today's second effort...

And probably not the last. There are lots of minutes in an hour to live through.

Moments of grace...

When I am working, picking up little sticks of color and applying them to my work in progress, I am most at peace, and that is a place I want to be today. Grieving is hard work. Every moment is a possible breaking point. There is vigilance even when I am feeling serene, that it may change any moment. And, truth be told, there is nothing awful in the most emotional moments. Sobbing helps. Sometimes, yelling hopes like "HP, You took him away and You better take good care of him!" I feel comfortable yelling at HP. HP is big enough to take anything I dish out, for sure. And here we are, at that time of the day when I kind of melt, 3 PM. Too early to eat dinner - that's always something to do, make dinner. Way too early for bed. So I did another painting. And I am thinking of a third. Marathon painting. Lots of things to look at and do, and someday, frame and exhibit. The Boo opus, done in the deepest moments of grief and loss. Something good out of something tragic. Feels right.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The long road home to myself...

What a complete turnaround! For the wedding, I was all about my outsides. Loofah, exfoliate, work out, tanning cream! Haircut! Mani/pedi! And now, it is all about my inner landscape, my tender emotions, letting waves of grief flow over and through me, yelling, when I felt it necessary, weeping, resting, remembering to eat once in a while. It looks like that's going to be on my menu for a while here. Also have begun giving Pickle sidekick lessons. We have been out in the car a few times, and on the leash, and, though I throw her on the bed every night, she seldom stays for very long. Oh, well, if she is not going to sleep there, I will spread out and luxuriate in having it all to myself for the first time in many a moon. Everything is different. It is like life is NEW here, and newness is always confusing and frightening in the beginning. Hope it settles in soon. I am heavy hearted and kind of just dragging myself from one thing to another. Yes, I created something. And it was the only time I felt like myself, because I was OUT of me, for a little while. That may be the ticket. Just keep painting, just keep painting. I can do that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Boo and beyond...

Grief is strange. It is like the ocean, coming in waves, and every seventh one is a biggie. If I don't clench up and try to fight it off, it washed over and through me, and I am back to this pale version of myself, one that feels hollow and fragile. And then it comes again. It is all doable. I reach into my program bag and pull out acceptance - it is what it is. And gratitude, for the years of sweetness and the gentle way he left the world, in my arms, just drifted away. And the axiom that it is about action, so I just do the next right thing, like the laundry. Little things elude me. Like eating. Not very interested at the moment, so I bought frozen dinners that I can nuke in minutes and nibble on. I look at this as a new phase of my life, and newness always seems shaky in the beginning. Pickle and I are bonding in a brand new way. We need each other a lot right now. Crying is releasing. It is a good thing. Loss is inevitable in this earthly existence. I can no longer discount it. My heart is cracked wide open here. More room for love there than ever.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Au revoir, my Boo, my heart...

Sweet Boo went to his eternal rest yesterday. He had been fine all week, slower of course, he was getting on, then suddenly had labored breathing. We went to the emergency vet, expecting to come home just fine, but he was in heart failure with fluid in his lungs, and they were unable to arrest it, so we put him down. It was gentle, peaceful and precious, actually. He never suffered, not for a moment. Nothing has hit me as hard as losing this dog. He was my constapanion for 13 years, always there. A huge hole has opened inside me. I cry, then I am all right for a while, busy doing my life, and then, there it is again, the ache. It hurts more to try and control the process. It will just be what it is, I suppose. And I will miss him all the days of my life till we meet again. I now know intimately what it means to be heartbroken.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The days march on, oh, my.

Just checked my bank account balance, oh dear. Well, it's been kind of strained around here lately, and makes me think maybe I should put up a website and try to actually sell some of the work I have been doing so assiduously lo these many years. Funnily enough, every time one leaves the little yellow house, I do that empty nest thing all over again. They are my babies, after all, created out of my angst-filled heart. Mind doesn't often come into the picture. The painting is about heart and guts and HP guiding my hand in a flurry of experimentation. Just love to see what happens when I scumble light over dark, red over blue, yellow over everything! Oh, look! That's interesting. Or it's a mess, but then, most mediums are forgiving. Just add another layer. Gee, would be nice if life were as easy, actually. Just cover over the old faux pas. But then, that would probably be with yet another faux pas, anyway. Don't mind me. I'm nuts today. Oh, never mind. You already knew that, didn't you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to the birds...

Currently, I am taking an antibiotic for a little infection, one that plagues me off and on, and it has made me more nuts than usual. Tender, sensitive little soul that I am, I am easily thrown off balance, physically and emotionally. Sigh. So I reached for my remedy to everything, my pastels and my reference photos and voila! About an hour and a half of noodling around, a lot of it with a QTip, because I wanted all the little valleys of the paper to be covered with pigment, and that takes a hell of a lot of patience to accomplish. I am rather happy, so far. Of course, I will put it aside for a while, walk by it every so often, and undoubtedly will pick up a stick and go at it again. And I will always have this reference photo to return it to if I screw it up. Don't think there is much more to do, though. Maybe I will start something new, and have two new paintings to mark this date in time? One never knows. I just know that my mood is ever so much better when I have unleashed my creativity for a while. Can't quite gripe as much. It's a good thing.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The art of being easily amused...

A long time ago, I learned to laugh at myself. This was not an easy task at first. It seemed that everything I did or said was weighty and important. This led to being very easily embarrassed or frustrated, all the time, because perfection, you know, is unattainable, even by yours truly. Recovery taught me to have fewer expectations of the world, hence fewer resentments, and fewer disappointments. And, one wonderful day, that slopped over onto my self. I laugh a lot more than I ever have now. The dogs are good for that. Hilarious little critters, my poopies. And yesterday, while cruising around on my home page at iGoogle, I found the gadget store. And I added a little hamster to my page. Every time I boot up, there he is, preening or sipping at his water bottle or running in circles on his wheel. Guess I should give him a name? Today, my mouse cursor went through his area, and he followed it around, the way Pickle follows the reflections from the wind chimes that bounce around the office in the afternoon. How cute is that! Okay, slow day in the little yellow house. But, honestly, learn to laugh at yourself, and you will never be without a source of amusement.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My entrourage...

All three of them. Honestly, two dogs is a handful. Three are a herd. The barking lamp is lit in the little yellow house for the duration of Beany's stay. One good thing; he comes when called. Most of the time. Pickle is jealous and has gotten snapped at a couple of times. Boo couldn't care less. It is nice to wake up to Beany's nose on my cheek, I must admit. They are currently lined up here beside me, waiting for my next move, which will probably be to the kitchen for some milk and cookies on my way to the back room for some non-educational TV. Not much of anything happening here at the moment. Just the way I like it. Quiet, too. Porch privileges have been revoked for the rest of the day. Okay, troops. Let's hit the refrigerator!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


It is the summer of no summer, again. Last time, though, it was just on the coast, at the house on the edge of the world. This time, it has moved inland, where we are having cool days and cold nights. Stranger and stranger. I am doodling around on the Tisiano black paper, and probably this was not a good idea, but, gee, how can I know until I try it? Cowwoman will try anything these days. At the moment, I am tired of the house, dressed in my gym togs and about to head out. Maybe. Laziness sounds good, too. And, surprise! Every time I talk to HP, I always say thank you for my sweet life, my sweet poochies, keep little kiddo and her new hubby safe in Portugal, and, in case She doesn't know it, SEND MONEY, because I could use it. And yesterday, in the mail, I got this Silver Sneakers card from AARP, for a free gym membership, at the gym I already belong to! Yay! $35 a month to spend at JJill! Life is good, yes indeed. And this mess, well, it was fun, and probably will get worked up on the other side, because this paper is hella expensive.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Sonata for a sultry Saturday...

Strange weather for August, barely making it up to 75 degrees, foggy till noon, chilly breeze in the evenings. Sweater weather. I imagine the grapes will be languishing again this year, but, gee folks, you asked for it with your monocultural philosophy. I, on the other hand, have gotten tons done here. I hit my home group this AM, and got all filled up with sobriety, then headed down the 101 to the outlet mall for some retail therapy and gift shopping for baby girl, who is 32 today, and in Portugal on her honeymoon. Sent her an email, hope she remembers where she put her Blackberry. Then came home and noodled around on the Tisiano paper I got at Dick Blick, the Mecca of art supply stores, and got this messy little ditty mostly done, I think. The Bean is outside non-stop barking. Even the Pickle has long since given up the ghost. Boo did his remote barking, standing in the office here, letting out a woof every so often. They are my entourage here in the little yellow house. keeping me company so I don't obsess over my kid and her hubby over there on the other side of the world. I have a feeling a lot more of these little works will manifest in the next few days. Keeps me occupied with a mindful of not very much, always a good thing. Headachy now, headed for early bed with videos (TV sucks on Saturdays), a pithy little novel and three warm puppies. Sweet.

Friday, August 05, 2011

There actually is life after the wedding...

It was so long in the planning, it seemed like it would never happen. And, now, suddenly, it is all over, and gee, life is still here, waiting for me to get back on board the ship. Took out the pastels and noodled around, just to see what would happen. Interesting result, kind of bland but not without charm, and the real lesson is that whatever I can conceive, I can execute with a modicum of patience. Putting the little lady aside and beginning one on my Tisiano black paper I got on my last supply safari to Dick Blick, a bouquet of mostly white flowers. I think that will present its own challenges, don't you think? I need to think of other things than ex-spouses and tricky social situations. Actually, I need to not think at all. Yes, that sounds like just the ticket for a sweet ride to nowhere. All aboard!

Monday, August 01, 2011

And here they are!

The happy, just wed couple at their entrance to the amazing dinner feast. Both are redheads. He is very tall. She wore flats, little gold ones with lots of sparkly rhinestones, very cute. I think she has morphed into Martha Stewart. Hers was a country wedding, MODERN country. There were little flags on every celebrants seat, and the flower girls carried a banner that said "Here comes the bride". Everything printed was coordinated by color and font. The menus that were attached to the napkins (white dishcloths striped in red) with clothespins said "Eat, Drink and Be Married". The cuisine was catered by the groom's mother's catering company, and thrilled even my picky brother, it was sooooo good. I sewed up 22 table runners in beige osnaburg. Coordinating pillows and curtains and flags and pennants abounded. Flowers glowed in Mason jars, succulents in little tin pails. The barn was festooned with row upon row of pennants on rope stretched between the beams overhead, hundreds of them, and cozy seating areas had comfy pillow and throws on the couches behind tables laden with candles and flowers. No cake. We had fruit pies with ice cream. The DJ began with a lot of familiar pieces like "Shout" and "RESPECT", so us old folks got into the mix and everyone danced with everyone. I left around 10, thoroughly tired down to the bone, and with my spirit brimming over for the wonder of my so accomplished and lovely young daughter. My baby is a married woman!

Monday morning, coming down,,,

Notice no picture. Camera is in absentia. I left it behind yesterday morning at the last of the many, many celebrations for my one and only daughter as she wedded her darling Jeff in the sweetest, most tasteful, most coordinated, loveliest wedding ever. Don't worry. Father of the bride in in possession of my little Canon, and now making arrangements to get it back. What a weekend. Fortunately, I planned on a quiet month of recuperation, because I know my tender little self. I am easily over-stimulated, and never more so than over the last 72 hours, which I spent only about 20 asleep. Fatigue and emotional overload led me to spend the remainder of the day Sunday after the requisite day-after-the-wedding brunch, held 40 miles from my front door (I put 200 miles on the Focus this weekend alone) in tears accompanied by some primal screaming, which the dogs tolerated fairly well, they were so happy to have me home for a change. Little girl is on her way to Portugal as we speak, for two weeks of European decompressing. Gee, that would be nice, wouldn't it. Cannot tell you how beautiful and sophisticated she was. Check out Carrie Bradshaw in the first Sex and the City movie for reference photos (no bird on her head though, just a tasteful fascinator). Groom was suitably dashing, himself. All was wondrous, sparkly around the edges, Wonderland of homespun and simplicity. Proud isn't a big enough word. Pictures to follow. Meanwhile, still in jammies, on way to milk and cookies and nothing worthwhile, for a while.