Saturday, March 31, 2007

Enjoying my life

i am enjoying today. And me.

I've been laughing at myself for who I am.

Didja know? I blunder my way through life most the time ... flying by the seat of my pants.

I am Harriet the Spy, I am Miss Bashful, I am Class Clown, I am Ms. Story Teller, I am the Dumb Blonde annnd the Hard Worker. I am known for saying, "yeahh, maybe that WAS a stupid thing I just did, but it sure made a good story!"

I second-guess a lot:

What will they think of what I just did?
Could I have better phrased what I just said?
Will i regret what i just did?
Will someone think less of me because... ?

Always tripping over how others will think of me instead of just being freely me and walking clearly ahead unabashed.

I am in the process of learning to not be so hard on myself.

Because life is short. We hear it over and over again. Ya gotta live it like there's no tomorrow and yet also live as if you'll live to be a thousand years. That's a quote somewhere. Couldn't tell you where I heard it or who said it. But I try to live my life that way.

The bottom line, after all is, "was i kind?" That's how we all should live, I think.
Did you injure anyone? Can you repair the damage you caused?

I hope so. It's never too late. Ever.

I had an appointment with my accountant and longtime friend today to go over my 2006 income taxes. He told me a story how he sadly lost two friends this year. One friend he had since 1978! Another since 1995. One stole his gas credit card. Another stole his tools in his garage. It hurt like hell. He said, "Ya know what Shawn? If any of them calls me to apologize.. I would forgive and welcome them back. Because they were my good friends. But. They haven't! That is what hurts me. That is what burns such a huge hole in my heart... "

My heart stung hearing his story. He was hurting more than the the ones who wronged him.

So. Today. If I didn't hurt anyone, and if I can go to bed at night and feel good about the day I just lived, then I've lived a day in my life that is filled with quality and goodness and love and kindness. And hopefully with a bit of spunk and fun and adventure, too. Then I can live happy. And I am.

I wish you the same.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"You drove off with the gas pump..."

I'm back.

--I think from all that bouncing off the walls prior to my leaving, caused me some short-term delirium as I set off for my trip.

Just less than two hours on the road, in a small town called Livermore, I drove away from a gas station passing a large crowd of people waving and jumping up and down at me and pointing wildly at my car.

My traveling friend turned to look back and said to me as calmly as saying, "you have parsley in your teeth..."

"You drove off with the gas pump.."

Indeed, it looked like a giant snake gripping on to the back side of my car for dear life. It's long thin body flipping and reeling as I drove through the lot.

I drove back to the scene of the crime (despite men waving me to "KEEP DRIVING! THEY'LL NEVER CATCH UP!")... and walked back inside, standing in line, waiting my turn to tell the man with the thick accent that I had driven off with his gas pump. Expecting to sever an arm and a leg to hand over to him, it turned out okay. He didn't charge me... and we were back on the road in no time.

We laughed all the way to the Los Angeles town where our hotel waited, only for our smiles to vanish when I realized I had forgotten to bring the confirmation paper and directions to the hotel who's name I couldn't remember. After an hour or more driving up and down darkened, empty streets looking for the hotel with a familiar name, I blindly walked into a hotel lobby asking if I had reservations there. (Of course not. That would have been too easy!) Finally, a helpful woman behind the desk at the Marriott did a google search for me and was able to point me in the right direction of the hotel across town.

A part of the trip, I stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. You would love it! It's in a prime location along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and across from the Grauman's Chinese Theatre. And it has a storied past. Host to the very first Academy Awards, the Roosevelt has been the playground of stars such as Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe. Now the poolside Tropicana Bar attracts the newer celebrities. It was so fun and yet so wildly different than the ultra cool mid-century modern hotel in Palm Springs.

Sitting poolside in Hollywood, I felt flawed sitting next to the young self-absorbed Hollywood elite. In Palm Springs, it was a much more gentler crowd. Where we'd sit around and exchange stories. I even met another woman who shared my first and middle name.

I called Valerie Walsh while I was in Hollywood who happily agreed to meet us for dinner in beautiful Malibu. She is an amazing artist who I met on Illustration Friday. She is so beautiful. Inside and out! And she is such a delight with all her colorful stories. It was the shortest three hours I have ever spent.

My vacation was much too short. I am so grateful for my job. Don't get me wrong. But what I would give, to have my three-month long summer vacations again. Just like when we were kids. Three work days and a weekend just isn't enough time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Road Trip

House is locked up.
Car is packed up.
And the traffic is backed up.

(Actually, I'm not sure whether or not the traffic is backed up, but I liked the way it sounded).

I'm leaving in a few of hours to drive down to Los Angeles and Palm Springs for vacation. I'm bouncing off the walls I'm so excited. The last time I was in L.A., I accidently pulled between the Osbornes and the camera crew as they drove down the street during their reality show. The last time I was in Palm Springs, I happened upon Anna Nicole-Smith (and Howard and Kimmy) on her reality show. I wonder what's in store for me this time.

See you when I return!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Kids Week

print & pattern is a website I enjoy looking through several times a week and can you imagine my delight when I clicked on it today and saw this?!

I'm working on more Dick & Jane designs now for another release.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lives lost

I have lost two cousins within a month.

One from a short, unexpected illness. The other from a tragic car accident.

The accident happened on Sunday night. I heard about it on the radio.
A fatal head-on collision. The road was closed for two hours on both sides. Whenever I hear sirens or news like that, i always whisper, "oh please god, help them be well..." you just never know when it might be someone you know. I would hope someone would whisper that for me if I were in that situation.

His father died the same way. He was my dad's younger brother. Driving along on his own side of the lane when a car came out of nowhere and killed him head-on. My cousin was 43. His father was just 46.

Three of my friends have also lost a parent these past two weeks. And a long time family friend passed away this morning.

My mom called me and told me. She said, "Ya know, I was wanting him to do tile work in my bathroom. I've been meaning to call him. And I didn't. Just goes to show you, you just never know..."

I remember going to his out-door garden wedding in a small country town in Boonville, California when I was maybe only 10 years old. He appeared so old to me. But now I'm guessing he was only in his thirties.

Within a month ago, all of these people were alive in this world. Living their life, making plans. Putting things off until tomorrow. Now they are not. Seems so sudden. So final. So unfair.

I am so grateful to be in this life. I do belong in it. For however long, isn't promised to me. I hope I make it as full as I can.

It is so beautiful outside. Spring is exploding with so much fragrance. I can hear someone hammering in the distance. I see two quail outside my window strolling quietly along on a date. And there is a fly buzzing up against the window behind me, wishing to escape back outside into this glorious weather. I wish it would, too.

I love this time of year. I wonder how many Springs I will enjoy in my lifetime. I hope to enjoy at least 50 more. Though it doesn't seem like nearly enough. No not nearly enough. Life is short.

I'm off to make the most of it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Every snowflake is unique

Will you take a look at these photos of frozen water?

The photographs are the result of Mr. Emoto's research in freezing drops of water and then examining them under a microscope and taking photographs of them.

It is so amazing. If you have had any doubts at all that your thoughts don't affect everything around you, then this just might profoundly change your mind. It really makes you wonder doesn’t it? If words can do that to water, what are they doing to us?

The possibilities are truely endless. . .

Friday, March 2, 2007

Dick and Jane lunchbox

Here is a Dick and Jane lunchbox I designed. It will be available in stores in a couple of months. It will be filled with the perfect amount of Dick and Jane fabric to create a quilt with.
It will also have the quilt pattern inside with directions.

I don't sew.

Well. I took a sewing class in 8th grade. Miss Anderson was my teacher and she always wore chopsticks in her hair. Or maybe it was large knitting needles.

I really only remember three things about sewing :

1. The thimble.
I got such a kick out of wearing a thimble in class. I would draw a smiling face on my thumb and pretend the thimble was a hat for my thumb. I called it my "thumb buddy". "You're nobody until Thumb Buddy loves you," I would say. (cringe)

2. The pin cushion.
I loved the sensation of sticking pins in the cushion. It was a guilty pleasure.

3. The sewing machine accelerator.
I loved to press down on the accelerator of the sewing machine. I would pretend to be driving a car along a bumpy, gravel road watching the needle move up and down faster and faster. The shift would be the level in the back that I would lift to raise the needle up.

No, I didn't learn to sew very well. But it certainly satisfied my craving to drive a car just a tiny bit.

I wonder what I will do with my Dick and Jane lunchbox. Maybe I will store tubes of paints in it. Or carry my lunch in it to work. With all the warnings about different food needing to be promptly stored in the refrigerator, its a wonder none of us as kids got food poisoning from leaving our baloney and mayonnaise sandwiches out in the warm classroom for so many hours. Especially when we saved half the sandwich for after school.