Sunday, December 24, 2017

That very wonderful Christmas !

Happy Christmas and thank you for a year of friendships and the gift of your wonderful posts.

I am reposting my story from last year, as that Christmas of 1949 was a special year for me. You might not have read it then so I hope that you will enjoy it now. And for those of you who did read it last year, I thought you might enjoy reading it again.

My very best Christmas

This was my very best Christmas. In a big house on Main street in Tillamook, Oregon everything was beautiful and happy. My grandparent's house was warm and fragrant from the just cut tree and crowded with people who were glad to be there.  I'm sure my mother helped put the "rain" on the tree, she was meticulous and would have wanted to please her new mother in law. The lights were low in the kitchen except for the one over the Tom and Jerry bowl, a special one - children were not allowed but there was another one just for them with tiny cups to fit little hands, and lots of home made cookies and probably a ham. All my aunts and uncles were there. Christmas music would have been playing on the new mahogany cabinet that held the record player which had just replaced the wind up with the brass horn.  My parents were still happily married.

The carpeting in the house had muted roses on a grey background and the wall paper was a soft dove grey with a pattern of white feathers. The brocade drapes would have been drawn over the pale golden shades, the ivory pull dangling from a long string.  Soon my grandfather would have disappeared and my grandmother would say to the children, "What's that noise? I hear something on the roof.", we were sure we heard it too, then the doorbell would ring.  A wide eyed child would rush to open it, letting a burst of cold air in and stepping back in wonder because Santa was there. Little necks would strain looking up in awe and then down to the big, red bag. There were presents under the tree but the best ones were the ones given to waiting hands.

As Santa disappeared, my grandfather came back and began turning all the lights out, except the tree with the big bright bulbs that got too hot for little ones who always wanted to touch. In the too warm and cozy room 4 children would be oohing and ahhing and passing back and forth presents that were so different then.  The wrapping paper, thin and soft, would be strewn in excitement, a cloud enveloping children and baby dolls and wind up train engines. Parents, huddled together, would laugh with each other and watch carefully to see that nothing got left unwrapped, and children were sharing, as children did then. In the glow from the tree, newlyweds, they all were then, exchanged presents and tender smiles. The war had just ended and all my uncles were safely back home, a present for my grandparents.

There was love in that warm and softly lit room and there would be for several years to come.
It was 1949.  My pretty mother in her favorite dress, green with pink bows, my aunt, a late surprise to my grandparents - all my uncles grown and married - and my sister with her baby doll. My mother is carrying me, four months in, I would be born in May. There were more Christmases just like this, a few as sweet and loving and gentle and filled with tenderness. But this is the one I remember best, this was the one I loved.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Love, Liv

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Honey and Salt

It's freezing in here. The furnace heats both this level and the downstairs tenant. I have control over the thermostat, but he has a pellet stove so he is warm. He doesn't need or want the heat on because he has to share half the bill no matter what. So I have resorted to those rolling radiator heaters - it's a big house. I have two and one that is kind of broken (bit of a fire hazard, but don't tell anyone). I actually need about 5 to keep the place warm. Everything is turned off at night, because I can't afford a huge bill either.      Salt

Chutima, roommate, is coming the first of January. Great New Year's day treat. She is very nice, happy,  but not too happy. Quiet, but not too quiet. I'm looking forward to learning some Thai from her and she is hoping to improve her English with me, although she is very good at it now. It will be nice for me to have someone in the house. Someone coming home and say hello. She is looking forward to the same as in Thailand her family is very close. The all live in their own apartments in a building that her uncle owns. So she is used to always having someone to watch out for her, someone to check on whether or not she got home safely and ask her how she is. She doesn't understand why American families are not more like this. It's just normal in Thailand, she says. She has been living alone in a studio apartment so I know she is glad to have someone to do that for her a little bit.                                                                                       Honey

Me? I'm having a bit of a hard time. I'm looking forward to having her here, but I'm also a little nervous that I am going to have to try so hard to not appear stressed or depressed or idle. These are things she's not used to and I can tell already that they would be disconcerting to her. Her life is not perfect, but she is a very level person - no ups and downs.  She is also very used to the heat and humidity of her home and keeps asking me what winter is going to be like. I try to gently let her know but I can tell she doesn't get it, so the heat is going to be a problem. I told her she has to get a little heater for her room too - we'll see how that works.    Salt

The past few days have been crazy bad. It's not so much Christmas it's self - Liz and I have a great time together - lovely dinner, presents, laughs. It's the knowing, more than usual, that it's just the two of us. It's not that either one of us misses the family, they can't stand each other anyway and rarely see each other except for the artificially, strained cheer that they all must endure for one day. It's just the difference-ness of it all. We don't want to be different. When I look at the recent blog posts and Facebook posts, I get a feeling of emptiness. I feel flat. I don't necessarily want to cry, but it's like that kid looking into the shop window and wishing. There's a present at home and it's good to have a present, but it never turns out to be what's in the shop window.    Salt

I've also been having a very hard time with the fact that my sister just bought a house not very far from here. It's nice, she paid cash, she brought me pictures, she is very happy. She wants me to come over and help her decorate. But she doesn't grasp how very, very difficult that would be for me - nor understand that I won't be coming.  There is a Chinese saying that if you want life to go easy on you, you must accept defeat. I think there is some wisdom in that. They are never going to help me find a way to have a home that I don't have to feel can be taken from me at any moment or to not worry about the "future". We're getting old and we know there will be "taking care" and that it could be, will be, more expensive than any of us thought, especially with the crazy direction we are headed in. But somehow saying that I have been defeated makes me feel lighter. So what if you didn't win the battle, you fought a good fight, it's something to be proud of. You no longer need to be a warrior. Fighting is not necessary. You can rest now.  There is still life left to be lived.         Honey and Salt

I'll be glad to see this year end. It has been a tough one. Well, more than one. I got sick last July, not this one, the one before - there was an ambulance involved. Then it got so bad that by March I had to have an operation on my sinuses and my nose. Then the diagnosis of breast cancer and another operation and then another, there is a secondary op. to check lymph nodes, then treatment. (the money, the bills...omg) And just as I got the diagnosis, that blog thing of loosing a friend because she thought that I had done something I had not - no chance of healing there.  So PTSD was raging at that point on so many levels. It took leaving here for 5 months just to get my feet back under me. I don't really know how I did it. I'm still not sure where I am and I am sure as hell not steady on them yet.  But I am pretty glad that I am back here. It feels good to be heard, to be a part of something.                                                                                         Salt and a little Honey

This next year is going to be better. I don't think I can survive another like this one. I have felt some pretty darn good love from a couple of people recently. And I don't have any fear that it won't continue. I'm doing more art, as you know, and I have a good feeling that some of it will get sold this coming year. I think I'm about cried out, so that frees up a lot of time. I think there might be a cat in my future, I need to take care of something besides my self. And it's nice for me to have someone to come home to, although they are fairly indifferent when you do. Still....

But right now it's hard. It's damn hard. I feel flat even as I'm writing. Tired.    Bitter Salt

The tree is up. It was my grandma's. Purchased in 1963, she wrote it on the box. There is one of those colored wheels to go with it, The adorable tree is funky enough. She actually got a full sized pink one a few years after this one. I remember everyone coming in and laughing at it. I can just imagine how she must have felt. I adored it. It really spoke to the princess in me. I remember she put her arm around my shoulder.                                          
I put up the little village that my mom always made (hers was way better than mine). How cute is that?  Here's to you mom.  Notice that Mary is a whole lot bigger than Joseph.....  The green is from my daughter's fish tank. I think it really dresses up the whole thing. Makes it look real. It is real.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Put your hat on and hold on to it!

I think I found a roommate !!!!  I'm about 92 % sure, just one more step for her to go through.

Her name is Chutima, she is Thai and lovely. We have so much in common, all of the good stuff, and she is pretty light hearted, but still aware of what it takes to be a human. She has traveled to 31 countries..omg. And is learning Spanish so that she and a friend can go to South America next year. So that means a good 6 months.

I'll write more later. I have to go cook a side dish to go with a Korean meal my friend is cooking tonight and I have no idea what that will be. And whatever it is, I will have to make a trip to the store for sushi rice, at least.

Oh yeah, she is hooked on Korean movies just like me - that was a great laugh, we knew right then it was going to work!

God bless the Koreans, north and south and keep these beautiful people safe.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Just for you

               Mornin'. I find that I cut my hair shorter and shorter each year. Can you see how short there by my ear?  I secretly want to shave my head but I have so many lumps and bumps that it would not look chic at all like some people do, probably just scary.

                   Goin' out to lunch with MJ, makeup is a miracle. Tied it back in the tiniest ponytail ever. I'm a grown woman and I still call it a "ponytail", silly. But what else could you call it?

I don't know why my selfie's always come out a bit out of focus. I have to take my glasses off so it actually looks like this to me on the camera...out of focus. But I do exactly the same thing with the camera when I take a picture of one of the shell things close up and then they are in focus. ??? **    I have a big red dot on my forehead my bags seem to have disappeared....again, makeup! Thank you camera gods. I think part of my arm is in focus. I have the blinds closed to stop that blast of sun. I moved the computer because before it was right next to that window and I was freeeezing watching a movie at night. It's a bit better on the far end of the room. This room doesn't have heat, only because the heat vent is in the little alcove below that window and it hangs out in mid air with nothing underneath it so all the heat is lost in minutes. A real architectural bloop. I have a little heater by my feet that works really well and so far I have paid enough attention to it to keep myself from catching on fire.

I want you to know that I do survive all this shit with, most of the time, a smile on my face. Because really, what can you do? Cancer, money, no roommate - it's life. There is a part of my brain that thinks hardships are pretty much a way to get inside. To the place in the center where I really have to unclench. That's were my breath goes. It's the place where fear grabs so hard, like a fist, that I can't get the breath in. People always say - breathe, breathe, you will feel better. Even though it's true, it's exhausting to hear it sometimes. - sometimes it's just fuck, fuck, fuck - My grip isn't easy to break, but if I don't let go I know it will squeeze the life right out of me . I'm often outside of that center and it can take me awhile to even remember that it's even there. So I'm giving it to the other and putting my energy into believing that someone else will come into this house who knows that idea. Kind of balance the seesaw. For me and probably for them, babes on a seesaw, we all are.  PS here; I always hold my neck and shoulder muscles so tight when I am stressed that my head shakes and my neck aches, aches! Now that! is really hard to unclench.

I'm listening to Charlie Brown Christmas music in the sunshine and looking for a cookie recipe. Baking is a go to for joy and calm for me and Charlie, well, who can not feel good with Charlie Brown?  It is very cold here - I love a winter kitchen with the oven on - and the water in the bird bath froze last night, but the sun melted it pretty fast. The chickadees are going hard at the bird feed.

Politics and worldwide insanity are out in the cold today where they can stay for awhile. Boy, those things can really put a grip on that center!  I'm not going to think of calling out men, or women in stupid just-as-good-as naked outfits or tights that are inappropriate and not just for comfort. Give me a break...I have a whole lot to say about that one! I'm thinking about sugar and flour and butter! And walnuts and maybe morello cherries or toffee.....ahhhhh!

** Ah ha!  It's because I'm trying to take the pic. with one I can't hold the camera still. I hope it's a good day for you, no clenching.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Another day, another glass of wine

Only the wine bottle is appropriate - I am so far from ever being sexy any more - not that I ever was.

Still looking for a roommate. Several very inappropriate ones have responded to the ad. It's on Craigslist - well, it was. I've had to delete and go with three other places as CL seems to only bring in people who really can't afford to live here nor read the ad. They ask all the questions that have been previously noted in the ad and asking for exception after exception even though I've explained that the landlord is firm, I have no power to make exceptions. I've also gotten two lovely scams from Nigeria. Doesn't anyone there do anything else but sit in front of a computer saying "Let's see how really ridiculous we can make this one, because you know we're going to catch a fish or two anyway." ? Well, not me buddy. I'm going to figure it out right after I reply and the bell goes off in my empty and over anxious brain.

I did however get some $ help from a relative. So a bit of a surprise there. It helped pay for one month of this ridiculous rent increase, the electric bill and some groceries. (You probably don't know this, as I didn't, but Oregon has no cap on the amount of rent that can be raised by a landlord. And this is supposed to be such a socially advanced state.)  Grateful I am. Very grateful!

Some good news: My downstairs neighbor has turned out to be an absolute doll. He is very kind and positive and always makes me feel that I am being watched out for. A big plus when it comes from someone you don't even know.

My daughter has found a roommate who is great. She is funny too, just like L. And can even keep up a bit with her wit, but laughs hysterically when L is on a roll. Which is most of the time. L came for dinner last and it was nonstop laughing between each bite. She thinks I am funny too, although I'm not even close to her, but then she laughs at her own jokes. She really is a wonder. We kiss and hug goodbye and linger for a moment in each other's arms, both feeling we share in something much more precious than leftovers.

For a while I was scurrying between the frantic search for someone to share these bills with here and thinking that maybe I could get into a house now and leave all of this behind. With more intense research than before I have solidly come to the knowledge that a manufactured home (ugggh) is completely off the list. I simply don't qualify for that kind of a loan. It's a crazy thing the way these are done and 9% interest. It's way too complicated to explain here but that's off the list once and for all.  So are condos as my SS income is too low to secure a loan with the overhead of an HOA that can increase at a moments notice.  The mind blowing thing is that I do however qualify for a home mortgage. Albeit, as I've said before, that would be a crack house. But still, something to create a bit of equity for my old age - I always think I am about 40 years younger than I am, but... - and something to leave to L should I be run over by a bus. But looking for that one (secure abode) has been so exhausting with the roommate search as the other option, that I've got to choose the one with the lesser stress level....hahaha, see, there's my sense of humor. It's all so laughable.

I've missed out on reading and commenting on so many of your blogs. But I went back and read all of them today. Everyone seems to be doing ok, as much as can be expected with complicated lives and I am happy to read that.

We are experiencing a lot sunny, but not warm days. Sun makes almost everything better as opposed to the other so I am grateful for yet one more grace. My relationship with the powers that be have increased a bit. Although I still don't understand and I feel a bit bad for usually only turning there in times of need - benevolence is something to actually hold in my hands.... besides the glass of wine.

I miss each and everyone of you and will do better at staying in touch. I feel very lucky to have dear friends here. Let's keep our fingers crossed, roomy is out there somewhere!!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Come in, would you like to see the house?

I was going to write a nice light post --- I'm trying to keep them that way for awhile --- so that people will think that I'm not a crazy, bitch.  I'll hook you and then we'll sit down for a real chat. I hope you understand my sense of humor.

I was going to write about my stupid wonderful new roommate. He's a charmer. Sweet, smart, tidy as a pin. Washes every dish immediately, including mine (sometimes, it's not compulsory, although he can't stand to see them). I couldn't care less about dishes. I figure, save them up for awhile and then you'll get to keep your hands in a lovely sink full of warm and bubbly water while you daydream out the window. He's young and cute and quiet as a flag there. We had a long talk about length of tenancy and rules (landlords) and smoking (none!) and alcohol (light).

It turns out that people who walk so lightly that you never know where they are until you turn around, are actually rather strange people. He's sat in his room for three solid months - on his computer. He said he is a freelance programmer. Turns out there is no such thing, as far as I can tell because he hasn't worked a day since he got here.  He has consumed over 250 bottles and cans beer (freakin' expensive IPA's). I know this because I have schlepped them all to the recycling place myself. Now that is an adventure! You can get drunk just walking into that place, the fumes! And no, I don't keep the money. What is wrong with me?!

I just found out from the landlord, when he wrote to say that he is raising the rent to $1,600, that he gave his notice on the 1st, I found out on the 6th. He said he was going to tell me .... next week. Believe me, I can not afford $1,600 by myself. He say's he has not been able to find an $18 hr. job, he can't take anything less than that. (my eyes are totally crossed here) So he has depleted his $. The min. in Oregon is, in most cases $12. He could have paid his rent 2 1/2 x's over each month. Is the word entitlement coming to mind? He is from Mass. .... Mass. will be getting him back shortly.

So now I had to slap up an ad for yet another one and cross my fingers that someone out there thinks that mine is better than the 386 others. And that who ever that is doesn't creep around the house like a ghost - nor drink like a fish.

So I thought I would give a little tour of the house, since it is already posted online for the whole world to see. I am not showing his, oddly, crazy-messy room. I'm really not one to talk, as this is the super tidied up version. This doesn't even look like a real person lives here, but evidently that is how it is done. You're probably going to think I am a snob, but I am actually a slob. Somehow I am not able to put things back where they belong until I can't remember where they belonged in the first place.
well that's pleasant - I sit here and dream about having raspberry plants again
see, he washed the dishes, it certainly wasn't me
I like this room, although the only time I spend in it is when I toss all those pillows off onto the floor because I am too traumatized to sleep in my own bed. It's really comfortable so they don't usually go back on for several days, it's addictive.
I have never eaten a meal here because who wants to sit at a table this big all by themselves (odd word). I never eat at the kitchen table either. I eat in that chair there, where I also read. Sad. But the light is really good!
I didn't put this in the ad, but maybe I should, I'm going to rethink it. I killed that rug though, shampooed  it with one of those machines you get from home depot. It shriveled and shrunk like an old ladies boobs - had to throw it away. I miss it.
They don't need to see anything else. You wouldn't believe what other people show...bathrooms with the toilet seat god!

Ok, I'm trying to hold my head up and stop the already three days of torrential tears.   Do I look worried?  Believe me, I am.  I finally took a shower...4 days is enough. Thank Jesus for erase, I actually have purple/black circles under my eyes.  I have had at least 2 bouts of hang your head crying today. I'll probably, like in I will, have another when I go to bed tonight. Everything will be alright. Everything will be alright. Actually writing this did make me feel better.  Pray, pray, pray for a sane roommate for me, one who actually comes out of her room now and then.....noooo more men! And I promise to wash my own dishes.

    oh yeah, I cut my hair 

Listen, I am never going to write about politics or religion (probably). I leave it for others who are way smarter than me. But I do like to read about it, y'all inspire me and teach me to try to be a better person.  This is just not that kind of blog.



Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday night viewing, complimentary virtual wine and cheese served

I'm still here! I'm feeling so much better in every way, body mind and spirit. So I thought I would jump back in for a minute and instead of yakking on and on about all of that, I'll just give you a little bit about what I'm doing right now to keep it that way ... better.

I am painting!  I've been trying and trying to get back to this for 9 years. Thank god I never got depressed or hopeless enough that I threw the brushes or the paints away. I watercolor and watercolors are exceptionally versatile because they are so portable and they never get old! I have paints that are as much as 25 years old and all you have to do is add water, wait a bit and voila!

Taking a break from everything, and I mean everything, was/is healing. After a little while I began to breathe again and let me tell you how good air feels - in my lungs, my mind, my heart/soul.  I had no idea how shallow my breath was in trying to get to all these vital places.

So now I can hardly stop - painting.

This is a little bit of what I was doing all those years ago when I was painting pretty consistently..sort of. I was really afraid that I had lost it all. The first few attempts were a little scary, but once I started opening that door, I didn't care how good I was anymore. The thrill is addictive.

The first one I did (about 3 weeks ago) when I put water to the palette and picked up the brush was so bad that even Liz looked at it and said  "What is it?" We laughed almost to tears and I tossed it.  Which is a big deal for me because I used to be in the place, a long time ago, where I just wouldn't paint because I was afraid it was going to be awful and then I would be wasting paper.  Go figure.

These first 5 are from a long time ago.
I was painting in a pretty realistic style. I enjoy that, it's a real challenge to grab the subject and get it on the page as close as you can to what it really is.
This is not a mountain scene. Ha! It is a reclining woman done with a masking out technique.
Now that's a bum!

I love this little girl hold a bird, it's a very small painting and had to be done with a magnifying glass.  The pigeon one is actually one of my favorites, if not my most favorite of all. In person you could see each little hair on the feathers on the floor, they were exquisite. Sadly it was stolen from my estate sale when I lost my home. I think I will always mourn it's loss, it was very special. And no, when people say "Oh, you can always paint another." it's simply not true.

This last one is a true exact  copy of a very old painting of the facade of the Paris opera house.  I would have to take it out of the frame to get a really good photo of it, sorry that this is such poor quality.  But it was exhibited at the Portland Art Museum in the student foyer when I was taking some classes there (ions ago) and I was very proud of it! It's a very big painting and I was so poor that I framed it in cardboard that I painted and pretend gilded.

I like these and I will still use this genre, but I've been wanting to try something looser.

After the first "What is it?" try, I took a little time to really think about what I was doing with the brush, I'm being very cautious with the subject...but I used a big brush, pretty brave!
If you click on these they will, of course, enlarge. That will work with the older ones, but maybe not with these new ones as my camera is set at a ridiculously high level of pixels and I have to call android to figure out how to lower them, it's way down the list. So they may enlarge to mega and you won't be able to even see them. Sorry, but when posting, I don't see a way for me to know how they will turn out on enlarge.
A little bit looser, but not very adventurous.
This was crazy fun! I work from other paintings, mag. clippings and actual photos from the web. This is, obviously, a clip from a magazine. So it is a "copy" for lack of a better word. And while I am at it, I want to say that when I look at a painting, photo etc. I am not trying to copy the image exactly as the artist. Unless the work is antique and then it is legal to do so. I'm not trying to pass them off as "original" (but obviously I painted these - they just are not my original idea), hence, I could not/would not ever try to sell them. I am trying to teach my self technique so that I can figure out the process, which with watercolor involves a lot of calculation about what goes down first and then second, etc. to get the effect you are looking for. Transparency is an art in and of itself and timing is a real brain twister if it isn't so honed that you can do it like riding a bike. I fall off constantly.
And also, I'm not criticizing my work here in a way that would say - I feel bad about this, I really fucked it up. No, there is no failure here of any kind, if you miss getting something the way you wanted to, then that's just one thing you can cross off the list and lots of times you go back and forth and that's just how you learn.
I was trying to be "creative" here ...... I call it "You think you don't snore, but you really do" !
This is actually a very large painting, it's 26" x 22". I did it once before but I really like the colors so I tried again using the overlay and I think I did pretty good. I especially like this close up of the vessel.

Now, I'm starting to get somewhere.
I don't know why, but once I got that hair, all the splash of it and the freedom, then I knew the rest of it was a cake walk.

I don't think I'm ever going to be the kind of artist that does abstracts that are metaphors or expressions of deep spiritual of social issues. I've always secretly wanted to be, but it's just not in me. I like what I do, I'm very happy with it and especially it's constant evolution. And really, every painting holds it's own "message", they all speak.

So there you have it. I think you might be a little drunk by now, that was probably a three drink exhibit.

I'm going to try a bit more blogging, we'll see. The whole thing is so different for me now, I've still got to figure it out a bit more.

So glad to see you!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Great and Sincere

It's a sad day for me.  I am suspending my blog and my Facebook account. I don't foresee being back until August or maybe later.  I'm not closing it, because I truly do hope to come back.

This is a very, very stressful time for me.  It's pretty much equal to loosing my house and my mom at the same time a  couple of years ago.

I'm finding it impossible to come here and share the details of this time and all the stress that comes with it. I feel that I bring too much unhappiness and want to come back with something positive to share. I'll feel a whole lot better when I am able to do that! With all that is happening in my life, I'm also not able to absorb what is being shared here and on Facebook.  I come away sometimes, confused and a little bit lonelier and that's not good for me. I need to find another way of grounding myself and I will, the god's are good.

There isn't a single person that I have met and been involved with here that I don't cherish. I have received so much and my gratitude is great and sincere.

I won't be answering any comments and will shut them down in a few days.  My email will stay open, I don't want to completely loose touch.

Summer is the best time to heal and I'm looking forward to that, I'm looking forward to filling it with good things!
                          Already, one of the good things. Early harvest from my little garden!
I hope yours is filled with all the good things too!

Much love and gratitude to all !

Friday, May 12, 2017

An Early Wish To Mothers around the world


               THANK YOU 💗

I post the following every year to honor all the mother's that don't fit the standard image or definition of what we think of when we think of this day. This time I want to add my best wishes also to those who mother, not recognized for what they contribute to the world.

You are seen, you of other genders who mother. You who mother your neighbors children. You who mother animals. You who mother through your financial contributions to children in need.  You teachers who provide mothering to children who might not receive enough at home. You who mother foster children. And for all the children who have to mother themselves. You are no less to be honored today than any other mother who gives succor and safety and Love.

               THANK YOU 💗

"Mothers in shelters. Mothers separated from their children for reasons they don't understand.  Mothers grieving at the graves of departed children gone before their time and mothers sitting at the beds of terminally ill children.  Mothers in prison and mothers separated from their children because of their own addictions.  Mothers without hope who are mourning children who have been taken by spouses who's whereabouts are not known. Mothers holding hungry babies in refugee camps. Mothers whose children have been hurt or disabled in ways neither they nor we can reason nor change. Mothers who have been forgotten by their children today. All mothers suffering every where in this world.   And most especially to mothers, who today, have lost a child."

               THANK YOU 💗


                photo by H.G. Kaiser circa 1915


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Buddha came for coffee

Look at me, three post's in a row! Wow. But this one is even more important, for me at least, than the other two this last week.

When you least expect it, Buddha shows up with wisdom that knocks you on your butt **.  Thank God.

"The root of suffering is attachment", so says my companion, that only my heart can see, across the table by the window. I find coffee shops to often be temples of wisdom.  I'm not one to believe in God in an absolute sense, but Buddha is different. Like the I Ching, I listen, their words reveal and resonate in a way that my simple mind can absorb. I didn't ask for this knowledge, it just sits there, and I just sit there empty, open.  What I had been asking for was someone else to fill a need, I craved it.  The attachment to the outcome is suffering.

I have deleted the blog so I can not read or comment, but that is only for awhile. It is my job to take care of myself, to fill the space, no one else is responsible for that task.  I will go back, soon I hope, because I love this blogger and I have no desire to end that loving.  I'm a fool to walk away permanently and I need to let that lesson really sink in because I can not carry on with the things I need to accomplish in this life pulling a weight behind me. If I can keep my hands open to the grace, when I return, I'll return clean, with no needs.  Practice, practice, practice.

A dear girlfriend of mine says that love is complicated and it is. I'm not going to be able to uncomplicate it. I want it in my life no matter where it lands up, no matter if returned or even accepted. Buddha is so right, attachment causes the pain.  And probably, most likely, this love is actually returned, it just comes in a different door.

                                                             Keep it open.                                 

**I do have a tendency to forget everything within about 48 hrs.  practice, practice.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Seat in upright position -- (seat belt un - locked)

Well, I'm glad that little storm is over, thanks for ridin' it out with me.  Your comments and concern have helped immeasurably. What an amazing bunch of people you are! I couldn't reply that day because, well, you know what it's like.
The days are settled down a bit. And I am grateful that we are still all in it together. I've used this picture before in my India posts and it is just so adorable and appropriate for what happens on blogger - support and joy. 
                                                               we are in this together

I'm glad those storms only come once in a while. And that days of silly happiness are possible even if circumstances are not perfect, as they never are.   Thank you all!

I think, for me, a lot of this anxiety (intensified by a shitty hard time in life) becomes more intensified because I don't eat much. Isn't that silly? I've gotten so used to eating small meals, due to that anxiety, that it never dawns on me that I am still hungry.   My daughter, helped me realize that the other night when she made me list all the things I had eaten that day.  All were healthy, but there just wasn't enough of them.  And I cook, not all that often, but by the time I finish it, I'm not hungry. So today I went to the Deli and got .....  mashed potatoes and gravy, yes I did! It was soooo good, I ate the whole thing, and I bought ice cream.  Neither one so healthy, but easy to eat lots of and I have to get my stomach used to that again. (well ice creams not a bulker, but damn it's good)  Salad is just not going to do it.

I'm going back to see the surgeon tomorrow. This should be interesting, as I think this stupid expensive operation on my sinuses didn't really work. It's been a little over a month and I have done the yuk salt sprays every day, but I still sound like I have a stuffy nose from a cold.  I also have a pretty raspy voice from an enlarged thyroid pushing against my voice box. It's due to radiation from breast cancer, so people are always wondering if I used to be a smoker......I think it's kind of sexy, raspy haha, so I really don't mind if it stays this way, makes me a bit a scare on your face. I always wanted one of those too when I was young, just a little tiny one because lots of stars in the old movies had one and I thought, I wanted to be to be Piper Laurie - but I don't think she has a scar, come to think of it, she doesn't really have a raspy voice either, just deep. Mine is deep too, so, well, there ya go - the teenage mind.

I got the traditional red geranium plants at the nursery yesterday (an homage to my grandmother who had glorious ones planted all along the front of her house). A deep, true red not the orangey one.  They just make me feel happy and connected to a good memory. That's nice.

I've been doing some meditating ---
That picture incorporates your good advice for getting a dog, Ellen, way up on the list, but a bit down the road.  And I've been doing a bit of yoga...lie, dancing...lie, thinking of moving my body --- well, I am seriously thinking of taking a walk. I actually have found a great place to walk here, it only took 2 years! It's mostly downhill (excellent for that nuisance osteoporosis) and not too much uphill to get back to the beginning.  I'd have to draw you a map to explain it.  I really get bad vides on most of the walks around here, it's weird. I've only seen a live person 2 or 3 times and that is just creepy -- too stepford.

So, onward and upward, Livy girl!!
And, an aside, as I almost always have one.  I read this rant on Facebook the other day about how we are not supposed to call women "girl" anymore. It demeans us especially when used condescendingly by men, I get it, but the article went on to say we put ourselves down a bit when we use it with each other. I don't agree. Sometimes PC goes too far.  I love to say girl - to girl friends and when joking - I just think it's sweet and conveys affection. So, girl, I'm gonna keep on. Boy...not so good, guy, good.

And I'm adding this one now, too, because if I don't I will forget it by the next post.  I had a coke the other day, I wanted to have a little treat. Swear to God, I have not had one in at least 20 years. I just don't care for sodas. It was great, ice to the top, so refreshing.  Thennnn, I had another one the other day, because the first was so good.  Yesterday and today I am totally jonesin' for one.  They are addictive!!!! I will not have another one for a long time, but I sure do understand the soda epidemic in this country.  It took effort for me to say no - after 2! What it must be like for people who can't stop. I feel very sorry for them.

Thanks again -- and take good care.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

It's my turn

Today was an extremely hard day.
It's been that way for awhile...the panic attacks.

Sunday is the day I always give my daughter alone time, but I've been feeling bad in a lot of ways, physically, psychologically, heart and soul.
I didn't want to go today, but she said she needed it, and I know she does. She really does. She blossoms on these days and it's lovely to see, I feel lucky to see it.
So I sucked it up and gathered my things - I have a little list now of things to take and things to do, they're always the same.  But I forgot it was Easter.  The stores I usually go to,  just to walk around and browse, ( I can not spend money right now) were all closed...the holiday.  The movie theater was jam packed and I don't do well with crowds like that.  Why the fuck does everyone go to the movies on Easter? Don't they have to stay home and eat ham and deviled eggs, and watch their ridiculously huge tv's?!  Starbucks was the same, so there was no sitting to read my book.  Powell's, the book store, is next door and unexpectedly it was open so I figured I could go and watch a movie on the laptop.  The earphones were not in the bag, nobodies fault ... so again, no movie.  And yes --------- I forgot my fucking, fucking book. So I sat there and looked at picture books, for 2 1/2 hours, because by then I couldn't read, and tried not to lay my head down on the table and cry because  I was so without tether that it was killing me.

I hate, hate, hate holidays
They are days of heavy loneliness, sorrow.
My daughter doesn't believe in any holidays, probably because they carry the same weight for her.  I don't blame her - our lives have been crazy hard.
But I just want something, anything to recognize - to get through the day with some semblance of normal. Of being like people who celebrate, even if it's crap celebrating.  

I have only one friend here, but life is challenging for her too. I've been asked to join her and her family before, but I don't really know her kids or her relatives, so it's uncomfortable and depressing and stressful. The last two years have been so full of pain and illness and stress, that it's just not the time to reach out to find new friends - I cry if they're nice and I cry if they don't reciprocate. So I've just given up until things get better and I'm so fucked up and lonely right now that - until - makes me cry too.

I've read a few blogs today, of women that I read and care about and participate with in my sincere and, yeah, kind comments. (and I'm not talking about any of you who have shared yourselves with me, welcomed me into your space - you already know how grateful I am, you know who you are and I know I've said that before and it's getting fucking boring, for both of us)  I have begged more than I should have, asking them to read me, take me in and they don't, I don't fucking know why and it eats at me, little bites out of my heart time and time again, because I can't seem to stop reading them, they're good and I care about them but the silence, oh my god, what the silence does. It is humiliating and I've had a shitload of that in my life. Have I done something wrong? Something bad? It triggers decades and decades of this kind of shit. And I know I've talked about all this shit before and that's getting boring too. I've gotten over so mannny things - I've got to get over this, flush the sorrow, it's shitty and it's in the way. Sorry is nowhere in this today.  It's a bad day and everything is dumping on top of everything else.

I don't have to make sense here today. I don't have to be good. I don't have to forgive today.

I'm spitting all of this out because I was crushed by loneliness already today and they, and perhaps lots of you, are happy with family and food and laughter, and I know it's not that way for everyone.   Some others are hurting, but this is my moment, I get to talk about my fucking sorrow, my pain. I just can't take it today, I can't comment, I can't read Facebook - I feel unworthy and ashamed already because there is no comfort in my day, only silence. So many people know my situation and it's another little bite when people don't think of me - after all this time of writing and talking, whether face to face or type or pen, not friend or family or acquaintance would think - Liv is alone, I'll just tell her I am thinking of her.  My email is there, I'm on Facebook, there is a mailbox at the end of the driveway - oh yeah, I forgot, there's the damn phone.  I'm not trying to hurt or call out anyone and I don't need to be taken care of, do not feel sorry for me. I'm not asking for anything, I'm telling you, I'm telling you how it is,  because you are my friends and I need to scream.  I need.

I don't exist.
I feel like my head is going to burst.
I don't want to be me.
I don't want to be here.
I want to exist.

I want a husband, a partner, I want all my children,  I want a family, I want a home. The chaos and the joy and the bother and the frustration and the safety of all of that. The holy imperfection of all that.
Where is any goddam thing that  t e t h e r s me?

Like my beautiful and dear friend Elizabeth speaks so eloquently about falling,     I get to fall down today, it's my turn.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sublime encounters

Yes, I've been out of sight for a while.  Am now post op and feeling a bit better, fingers crossed that this does the trick.  Since the ambulance ride to the hospital last month and the ensuing afternoon catnap in a no less "private" emergency room (fancy that!) has cost in the region of $5,700, (you can get up off the floor now) of which my portion is a pittance thanks to extreme poverty under the Medicare program, I am nowhere near as jubilantly positive about the outcome of a three hour long operation - for which my surgeon was an hour late with no intention of explanation.  There is a limit to the benevolence of Medicare but I am on my knees grateful for my policy.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

If you've been reading for awhile, you might remember that I've had an unidentified sinus infection for the better part of the last year and after three doctors and a remodel of the bathroom (by the fearful landlord praying for the absence of black mold), two cat scans and an obscene amount of antibiotics - you died-in-the wool organics would be horrified -  a bucket of green snot that was vacuumed from my sinus cavity (which I have been spewing out daily for the last 9 months!) has finally been identified as an allergic reaction to a rare feline bacteria....       I'm very sad that this came from Marley and sadder still at the prospect of never being able to enjoy the comfort of such beautiful and loving animals. So sorry about the graphics, if you have a weak stomach, but hey, I had to endure it, you can at least hang in there with me..........I'm smiling.

They also repaired a deviated septum. I'm not sure that was an absolute necessity but they're in there so what the heck.  Pain has not been too much of an issue, but fear of success of this whole thing does occupy my tired brain. I am vigilant about such things as salt sprays and neti-pot cleanses - really, they're a good idea for this age of pollution we live in and the threat of any allergy you may or may not know you have.  The buckets of green snot are gone and now replaced with never ending slimy blood clots, OK, I'll stop!!

There were some complications with the surgery, not least of them being the inability to wake for a full 8 hours from the anesthesia....scary....  Did you know that the effects of anesthesia can last as long as 2 weeks, and even more?  It was done on the 21st and inanimate objects are just now beginning to stop inexplicably grow and shrinking as if I am on a sporadic LSD trip.

I was going to give you a cut-away of the sinuses and deviated things but you are probably happy to put a close to this topic, as am I......please, please heal correctly!
My recovery has been exactly like this, I plan on getting sick much more often!

In other news: my daughter and I have determined it is probably best that the next move in my life should be a final trip to Europe.  I know, I have no real money and the confusion of trying to find a place to live in, that I can afford, will still be there when I get home. The saving grace is that my SS check will be coming in with no expenses going out, so it won't be all that frightening.  But my life has been so without joy and relief from the lingering pains of a lifetime, that if I don't tuck in some happiness and good memories before the end, then I deserve whatever I get. So sucking up bravery from the bottoms of my feet, I will be alone!, is my daily task now.  Besides, contemplating such a trip is the only thing that is staving off panic attacks the likes of which I have never experienced in my whole panicked life.  I had a bring-you-to-your-knees one the other night and scared the shit out of both of us. You know, the kind of hide in the back of the closet and wish you were dead ones, I'm sure you're familiar with them. I pray to God you are not.

I'll leave you with some good news: I've lost five pounds, pale yellow tulips and pick hyacinths are blooming in the front yard. My car is being nice to me and I had the most sublime experience yesterday of standing in a field of vibrant green grass with three small dear deer nibbling their dinner.  We, each of us, locked eyes for about 15 seconds, which are a lot longer than you think, playing who will blink first. It's like talking and I was so happy that they let me stay and watch, as close as 10' away. That's what being born again really feels like. Wherever I wind up when I get home, I hope there is enough quiet and green and space for meeting deer eyes.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pink is a kind color ***

I certainly didn't expect this.

I took a walk around the property yesterday and was so surprise, turning around a corner to go down to the creek, when I was wide eyed struck by beauty that I didn't expect.  It is still a pretty rainy spring - four days away - but some things do get a jump on it out of sheer joy, I think, at finally being released from the grip of winter.
I'm afraid my camera doesn't do justice to them, perhaps I need a lesson from Carl. They look like peony camellias, a pink I can happily live with. Placed here, they are like a prayer to compassion and mercy. It's, as usual, a grey and damp day but when I look deep into the center it reminds me that there is still joy, there is still beauty in this world that is lately clouded by chaos.

***   An addendum.......this is hysterical .    I have the most god awful grey-mouse hair.  If it's not colored (bleached) people always say...."Is something wrong?"  "Don't you feel well?"  "You look so sad." hahaha  I am additionally blessed with straight, limp, thin hair.  One more thing to envy you about if you are not cursed blessed ....  if you don't have it.  I dyed it this morning.  The pluuuh grey was scary evident as I haven't been well and I let it all go too long.  It didn't come out it's usual bright and happy platinum, it came out slightly corn and dry as a broom, so I decided to use the whole conditioning tube to soften it up a little.  The conditioner is slightly violet, that's supposed to keep the yellow out.  I left it on for about an hour, I'm the person that, sometimes, thinks if a little is good, a lot will be better...........I now have a whole swath of pink hair.  I can only laugh, I'm going to leave it, it's kind of cherry cheery. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

The beauty and truth of the simple and complex

 I don't think I'm alone in writing long posts, am I?  Think of it as a three page hand written letter to a dear friend from a dear friend. We all love to get mail.

# 1
 I have been slowly getting sicker and sicker for two years now.  I've seen my PC, and Ear/Nose and Throat specialist and a Neurologist multiple times over this period.  The symptoms have shown up one by one and now most at the same time, which is probably why no one has been able to diagnose it, that and the fact that doctors don't understand it enough to put 2 + 2 together.  Finally! I had a reputable company out and we got to the bottom of it.   ....  I have Black Mold Poisoning - a build up of 2 fucking years!!  I have been telling the landlord and sending him pictures for all that time. Although he already knew it was here when  he did the walk through and my daughter pointed it out, he's like any other landlord...avoid responsibility-spend no money.  We, she and I, were too stupid to understand the seriousness of this and didn't understand where my symptoms were coming from. It's been very confusing and sad actually, because it's stopped me from doing so much.

 The door to the bathroom (we have two, thank God),  that's where it is because of a former water leak, has been closed for 6 weeks now and several of them have gotten better, but not all.    Shaking, memory loss, fatigue, lack of attention, hair loss, chronic sinus infection (remember - I talked about that in a past post) 7 months !, loss of balance, weakened immune system  --- I just got the flu for the first time in over 30 years and it was so bad I had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance, one day stay, not even overnight - fucking $5,700! - praise God for  Medicare.

The good news is they are completely remodeling the bathroom in the clean up and I am slowly getting better, yippee!
(I don't think this has anything to do with simple or complex, it's just stupid)

The truth: Black mold can kill and you gotta' stick up for yourself....and get educated.

Amazingly, I have been able to do some art, not much, but still it's satisfying. I finished the Madonna, finally !! and put some finishing touches on some of the others.
Top, left and right, birds watching over.
I love that little shell that looks like a fish (or maybe it's a dog..?) Serendipity is a big part of this kind of art.
                         Little blue oyster shell on bottom to hold prayers or momentos.  That little thing       makes me beam, I love it so much - blue, wow!

I love doing this because it's like doing a rubix cube. It's a very complex and calculated art. Will this work, will this work? And magically the third or fourth shell you pick up is perfect.  (That would be when you have about 100 lbs plus of shells to choose from.) I know this is a different kind of art, not contemporary or commercial, it doesn't appeal to the masses but I've pretty much come to peace with that, sort of.  I still feel a little embarrassed because it's not "hip", but fuck - I'm smiling the whole time I'm doing it.

The truth: This is a very complicated  issue for me. It deals with fitting in and I've always been uncomfortable with that.  But it's also simple, we just follow the voice, we just do what we do, there's truth in that, and comfort.

I've been grappling with one of my biggest adversaries a lot lately, envy.  It is particularly tough right now because of my imminent need to find a living space - like in very soon! - that can accommodate my special needs: Bipolar, PTSD and HSP.  (primary colors frightened me and make me gag..hahahah, sometimes it's hysterically funny! sometime not.)

 I have very little money and the time is getting closer and closer so I am panicking.  I need an atmosphere that is aesthetically acceptable with these conditions, or I risk a dangerous depression, I'm very serious about that. It's not that I can't find the middle ground, it's that there is no middle ground, prison or sanctuary are the only options when you're dealing with disabilities of this nature. It's not hyperbole or drama or stubbornness, it's my reality and I've been doing my best to cope with it since I was 3 years old.   I could list all the gory and dark details that got me here, aside from the genetic components, but that's not the important thing, I am here, so I have to find a way through and right now I am thrashing around in the dark. A panic that I've been shoving down for most of my life and is vicious now, is terrifying me. I can't get through a day without thinking - is this going to be my end, is this the place where there are no more steps?  I cry and cry and cry. I have an elastic band on my wrist and I snap it all the time to shake me out of the thoughts. I've never watched more movies in my life, in fact I think I've watched a lifetime of movies in the last year. Netflix and Youtube are anesthetizing.

Thank god I finally have a good therapist. I swear to you if I hear one more person say "You've got to fake it till you make it" or "Have you tried exercising?" or "Have you thought about joining a group?", I'm gonna' sucker punch 'em.  Do I look like a fuckin' idiot??  She understands and respects what people like me go through and how crushing it can be to your life, the only one you've got.  There are no do-overs here. Medication helps, I faithfully take mine but there's a limit to what it can do - we all know that.  I even cheat and take more sometimes...but  that's  not   good ....

So, I envy you. Whether you are sick or depressed or under a burden of  debt or something that seems a dead end for you .....
if you have a family or a job that you like or even often don't, or money, or friends, a lover or a spouse (who is loving or even tolerable), if you get hugs or kisses that come from neither fear nor sorrow or have a yard or a garden, if you live with the possessions that you love and have a home where you can put up wallpaper because you know you'll live there long enough - I envy you.  It's always been a part of my life and I've coped with it in different ways.  And I know there are people who envy me - for my "freedom" or my ability to create or, I don't know what, but they do. So I'm not alone with this emotion, but it is backed with some pretty sharp anger and resentment now.... and that... is not good.

At least I'm not some lost, crazy bitch who only has that emotion. Floating around in all of this is... I like you. It would be so much fun to spend time together, laugh, have those stream of consciousness talks that are soooo fun. And eat!  Eating together is the best. I can't think of a person here with whom I would not love to share a meal...and cooking, ahhh.  Martini's, or you call it!!!  I could go on and on.  I fucking envy you - but I so like you, too.  Sometimes I think the best thing to do would be to take the money and visit each and every one of you and do all those things and then fly to my beloved India, with a loooong stay over in England, and when the money runs out, just walk into the Ganges. Of course I wouldn't tell you that or it would ruin all the fun.  I contemplate this a lot, it makes sense to me.

The truth: I don't think there was one bit of simple in that - Ha!

(or like Rebecca say's .... Live ... sweet!) xx