home

“while you were away”

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He said “I made the bed and was sure that the butterfly was at the bottom, like you like it”

“while you were away”

IMG_9913He said “I took a towel and dried of the tile after my showers”

“While you were away, I meant to change the oil in your car, but it didn’t happen.  I did take the girls to a movie though.” “While you were away, I didn’t vacuum or sweep but I went on a ride with my friend in the hills”

 upon my return

It didn’t matter that the vacuuming didn’t happen or the sweeping didn’t get done or that second to be born’s shoes were left by the kitchen sink.

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all that mattered was.  I was HOME.

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words . details

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what would a self-portrait class be without a self-portrait.

Before I get to the meat of things.  Which will take much thought and careful consideration.  I want to share what is always dear to me.  I find beauty in the details.  In the little tiny small details that surround me.  One of my most favorite things to do is to slow down.  To look around with intention.  To take in the blessings that have been showered upon us.  They are everywhere and often get missed.  Not on purpose but sometimes people and this means me too get busy and they just don’t notice.  I like to take deep breaths, inhale, exhale, touch, give honor to.  It has not always been this way.  It’s a learned behavior. (not always… because after all we are born with it)  When my babies were little I barely had time for a moment of quiet.  I missed so much.  I mean I documented their moments with video and pictures but so often I just rushed through my days, just trying to make it to the next.  Now the most amazing thing has happened and largely  due to the fact that I have  watched and learned from women wiser who have taught me to embrace to take in each moment as if it could be my last.  And it’s working for me.  It has me thankful and gratitude creates good attitude, this is true.  So below I share some details of my weekend and I send my deepest gratitude to our teachers Kristin and Meredith who put their brilliant heads together and came up with an idea called NOW YOU workshop that has touched the lives of many women now, not just touched but changed and also it has grown real live friendships.  This one single idea.   Ideas change lives, ideas should never stop happening.  You may think it’s all been done before but always always it’s worth trying because as Salvador Dali says “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” it is so true.  later I will share the people, the love, the relationships but now I share the details.

IMG_9523lately it’s been about the blessing of feathers, I will always smile when  they are in my path.

IMG_9520hearts have held that special spot, His calling cards

IMG_9651as I spoke to my little sister about our Aunts quick passing, I was gifted with yet another touch of love.

IMG_9657For me this place has previously only existed in movies and books

IMG_9507I could barely believe this was on my same coast

IMG_9529Even the wood pile was photo worthy

IMG_9517and the mossy streets filled with puddles

IMG_9535the  heart is always in the kitchen.  nourishing meals where made here.

IMG_9519It was gray but I found color

IMG_9531the sandy shoes left at the door caught my attention

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the tall beach grass intrigued me

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the gift of a notebook couldn’t be more perfect for me, I was jotting notes from the moment we got it.

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IMG_9504and again I end with my last self-portrait.  As we were taught.  PROOF…I was there and not just proof of my feet but my face that is changing with each day.

In art there is healing

Ecclesiastes 3

   There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
     a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

When death happens I think of this scripture because it’s so true about having a time for everything.  This weekend was a time to build, laugh, embrace…but in having that honor…. death arrived.  And before I can talk about the happenings of our weekend I find it in my heart today to first honor my beautiful and beloved Aunt.  She is my mom’s Aunt actually, a great-aunt to me.  The last living person in  my grandpa’s generation.  She was my grandpa’s sister.  There were four children to the hard-working couple who came here from Oklahoma in hopes of a better life and to escape the dust bowl.  I just spoke of them last week in fact.  I included this image of my family history.  The sweet little girl is my Aunt.

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There was first a little girl who passed when she was just three, then there was my Aunt Louise and her real name was Berttie Louise (pronounced Birdy) She didn’t like her first given name so we all knew her as Aunt Louise. Then there was my grandpa, his name was Gerald but he went by Sandy because their last name was Sanders, then the last to be born another boy, Ronald, who went by Ron.  And my Aunt she was beautiful like a movie star.   Even in her aging she was beautiful to me.  She left us on Saturday.  She crossed over at 3:30 in the morning and I like how there are two three’s in her passing.  She was in pain, she went quickly and I’m thankful for that only I never said good-bye.  I was supposed to see her upon my return from Oregon.  I didn’t want to cancel my trip because it was a monumental trip.  A trip for growth, a trip I had to do.  I had to be brave.  And in making that choice I missed her passing and I missed my good bye.  Mourning was even addressed on our weekend trip and how it’s important to mourn.  Her viewing is this Friday, her service will be graveside Saturday.  My first cry was with Cinnamon at the top of the hill in a public restroom.  I shared with her quickly of the news.  I shared with her my confusion on how I should be, what I should feel? In that quick span of time I managed to also share how when I turned 40 it was supposed to be the best birthday of my life so far, how we had big plans to go away and my grandpa was sick again from cancer and without hesitation,  I cancelled our plans to go away so I could spend each weekend with him until his passing. It was the best decision I could have made.  I had one final conversation with him where we shared deep secrets and special thoughts with one another before he got really bad and it was on the exact weekend I was supposed to go away.  He wanted me to go.  He wanted me to enjoy my celebration but in this particular case I could not.  It was a May 3rd 2010, my 40th birthday when I got a phone call after work that he wasn’t doing well and may not make it through the night.  I left.  I just dropped everything and I left to be with him.  I wanted to be there when he took his last breath.  And I was able to hold his hand, gently talk to him, to just sit, to be near him as he took his breaths and got closer to death. It took him three days to let go. And during that time we held on tight, we stayed close.  I will never forgot my 40th birthday  it will forever be associated with his passing.  He left me roses and a hat, and plenty of memories. When I see an egret I think of him. I saw an unusual amount of them after his passing.  One on my rooftop in fact which was a first and so far a last.   I will never forgot and I mourned properly.

But now, now I was away and I wasn’t sure.  So it went like this, one moment in the bathroom with Cinnamon where I shared my heart quickly and I began to cry and she embraced me.  And right there at the top of the hill in that public restroom I had a moment.  And now I will never forget my monumental trip, the one I took alone when Aunt Louise left us.

So today I just want to honor and respect her with a few images from a few years back.  My mom and I with littlest and only girl went to help her clean her house.  She always kept a very tidy and clean house and in her older age and deteriorating health she couldn’t clean like she used to.  So we cleaned for her.  We polished her salt and pepper shaker collection, we washed windows and sorted through old mail.  But we also just sat and visited and for me, I had my camera with me.  I document the details, the moments so that’s what I did 5 years ago when we helped her clean her house.  And I saw her a few times after this and sadly in the busy life of being a working mom, I didn’t see her as much as I could have.  She didn’t live too incredibly far away.  And to be honest I feel not so good about that part.  Why does death do that to us?  I should learn from this.  I should learn.

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Here are the images from that day.  Not all the images but the ones I find special.  She didn’t want me to take her photo because she didn’t think she was beautiful any more but trust me she was.  And I just had to respect her wishes so the two photo’s I have are from the back.  One my little girl took for me.  I asked little Abbie to go behind us and click a picture.  I wanted a picture where I was next to her without her getting upset that her image was being taken.

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And I realize now in art there is healing.  I also had my camera with me in my grandpa’s passing.  I photographed his hand in my sisters, I photographed the roses in his garden, the ones we gathered to place by his bed, the guardian angel coin, the times my mom stood next to him and put cool clothes on his head.  I photographed it all, even the clock and the rocks, and the sky.  I had to.  It helped. So at least I have learned in art there is healing.  

jet plane

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Remember when I talked about being shy and introverted?  I still am but yes, I’m also brave and I can say this with complete confidence.   I’m meeting up with my NOW YOU gals mostly the ones who reside in the PNW.  I live sort of close enough to either take a long drive or a short flight.  I’m taking the short flight because in my heart of hearts I know this is going to be a really great trip and the friendships I have already made via picture sharing and workshops  are deep. Many of us have already bared our souls, we don’t need to cut through the small talk.  We can jump straight in. And I for one have never experienced anything quite like this.  I don’t want to spend too much time imagining how this trip will be, I just want to be there, just be.  Take it all in.  I began to believe I didn’t have very much to offer, I don’t sew, I don’t crochet, I don’t cook amazing however I love.  I just love and I listen and I share my heart and I’m present and with this group it’s good enough to just be me, exactly who I am.  I can learn from the cookers, the bakers, the knitters, the other artists because although I still don’t exactly know my nitche I do know I’m an artist and I do belong in this group. acceptance in spite of our social status, our spiritual beliefs, our political stands.  We all just love.  We all just accept.  We can peel away our differences and see each other for our hearts and our souls. I hope to share pictures and words upon my return and I hope that no matter where we are, that we can gather in groups and just listen and love and create of course, having mini meet ups across the globe and one day maybe we can all gather in one spot.

Don’t stop dreaming.

yep.  tomorrow.  leaving.  on a jet plan.  and this version is pretty amazing in my books.

red

red

Red says, dare to be different

Red is bold

Red says look at me!

I was born a redhead

I have my own peeps you know

Anyone who has red hair

They are my peeps

We are our own breed

We must stick together

We have to

Because

At times the world can be kind of mean

Kick a ginger

I’d rather be dead than red on the head

Carrot top

I used to work in a book store

A man would frequent the store

He called me Pippi

I would get so MAD

But now…I embrace

She is my official mascot

She is strong

She is bold

She is unique

She has no fear

She is adventurous

So the guy was paying me a compliment

I just had no idea at the time

I had a chip on my shoulder

Because often being a red-head was a negative thing

How about this one

“Red headed step child”

Which technically is true in my case.

But none the less…

These days it’s a blessing

People tell me they like it

People grew up

Kids pick on kids who are different

I was usually the only redhead in a group of children

Just one

occasionally I would find a fellow peep…

Instant bond

RED

Update day 52

“Be kind to yourself, be patient, you will find your answers. Love who you are right now—even if right now isn’t a place you want to be—you will always be you—start to appreciate yourself! You will feel so much better! And do not compare yourself to others. You are on your own special road. Be well my fellow travelers and know your path is a good one.”  -LINDA SILVA PALLESCHI-

 Remember this POST from 7 weeks ago?   This is what has happened in seven weeks by doing just a few things differently.  I have not had a soda in 52 days, this is a big deal!  I have taken to drinking lots and lots of water and this week 8 we are up to 64 ounces a day but honestly, I was downing this amount of water from the start of the challenge.  I LOVE water.  That’s the easy part.  Stopped eating after 9 p.m. which is very easy.  I ate mostly foods off the positive food list provided and it wasn’t very hard.  I did still eat dark chocolate here or there but it has to be at least 70%. No joke I ate one row of chocolate nearly every night after dinner.   I had to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day and exercise for 30 minutes a day and on my good days, really great days I got in my full 10,000 steps which was probably like 80% of the challenge. What I really loved about this challenge was also the spiritual aspect.  I prayed, read my Bible and journaled during these 8 weeks (technically just past 7 weeks so far) We would also get a bonus challenge each week.  This week for instance we need to floss our teeth each night, rest before bed by turning off the t.v. and just sitting in peace of listening to music and lastly this week we need to leave a gift at someones door step.  I feel better, I think I look a little better.  I have not changed in leaps and bounds but at a nice slow pace.  Below are my new stats and before and after pix.  I’m proud of myself.  Yes, I wanted to lose more like 15 pounds during these 8 weeks but I’m very happy to be headed down.  It feels so much easier these days to order water to drink when we go out rather than soda, it saves money too.  Oh and for the record I still enjoy a glass of wine every so often.  We get 2 free negatives a week.  We have a neutral food list, a negative food list and a positive food list.

 

August 23, 2014 October 14, 2014
Weight 177 170
Hips 43-½” 40”
Legs 22” 21”
Arm 12” 12”
Waist 37-½” 35”
Bust 41” 38”

 

Total lost in pounds -7   total lost in inches -10

The weird part is, I lost all these inches half way through the challenge and not much after the halfway point, but I did shed more weight after the half way mark,  averaging about 1 pound per week.  In fact and I can’t really count it but three days ago the scale read 169 but each day after it has stayed at a solid 170 but that just means the 160’s are close and no it’s not about a number but I still want the spare tire to be GONE.  I can feel it flap when I walk.  It sure would be nice not to feel that when I exercise.  So my goal is to lose the spare tire.  Which has not happened yet so I continue.

week 1 and 7 frontI can see a difference but to be honest the pants do not feel much different, then again the before picture I had been wearing them a good long while, the after they are straight out of the dryer which are always more snug until I wear them a few days.  Yes I wear them more than a few times before the next wash.

week 1 and 7 sideI think side shows most the difference.  I love that my boobs are shrinking.

week 1 and 7 backI can’t tell as much from the back