Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'll be home For Christmas

So. I'm listening to Christmas Carols and I hear Bing's warm, soothing voice singing: "I'll be home for Christmas... you can count on me."

So that's reassuring. He RSVP'd.

He then says to "please have snow and mistletoe" which sounds a little bit demanding. Especially the snow.

He also wants "presents on the tree."

I think he meant UNDER the tree, but whatever. On the tree.. under the tree.. guess he already figures there will be a tree or he'd be asking for that, too! A flocked one, no doubt, because he's beginning to sound like someone who is difficult to please...

He emphasizes it again... "I'll be home for Christmas..." and "you can count on me"... and it's like, "alright aleady! You'll be here! I'll have the snow and mistle toe and presents here waiting for you..."

Then... he goes into something that doesn't really make sense.. something about ... "Christmas Eve will find me where the lovelight gleams...".

During that moment, I'm sure the person on the other end of the phone is looking for a pen to write down all his wishes...
And wonders why are there a hundred pens in the house but none of them work!

1. pick up mistletoe.
2. Order snow.
3. Buy presents.

He's really coming! We can count on him!

But then... he ends the song with this line and he slows it down and really lets his words linger.... "I'll be home for Christmas... IF .. ONLY .. IN .. MY .. DREAMS..."

What is up with that!? That, my friend is not a true RSVP.

I havva feeling he's holding out for a better offer...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

running 8 miles in the rain and fog

I ran 8 miles yesterday morning and then again this morning. Both nights previous to the runs, I laid in bed and kept hearing the pounding of the rain pouring down outside my window and I felt nervous going out in it to run the trails in a downpour.

What will it be like? I worried.

It was amazing!

Jumping over crawling newts, loose rocks and mud puddles was surprisingly very exhilarating and it kept my mind focused on my safety other than running the distance.

Seeing people emerge in and out of thick fog banks was breath-taking.

Hearing the rain pouring down around me ... yet feeling protected overhead by much of the canopy of trees was comforting.

Running down a steep narrow trail with water rushing down it at the same time was exhilarating.

I fell once.

My toe hit the top edge of a boulder and I went down into a face plant. It happened so suddenly. I was running and then I wasn't. I rolled my tongue around and over my teeth for any chipped edges and I was relieved to find none, so I pulled myself back up and continued running. Funny what adrenalin does.... you don't feel anything, but your heart pounding. And then my legs picked myself back up and I continued on as if nothing had ever happened.

Stunning, beautiful views. Large ferns growing on the sides of the steep cliffs. Fog rising up the hill.

I worried if I fell down the cliff, would i bounce and roll down to the bottom? Or could i break my fall, by grabbing hold of a limb or tall grass. I tried not to think of those scenarios, but once you fall... you realize how easy it is to slip like that. So I moved closer to the upside of the hill as I weaved my way down to the bottom of the mountain.

Such a feat. Such a huge accomplishment for me.
I really feel proud of myself for pushing myself to do this. Because I know only too well.. how easy it would have been both mornings to turn off the alarm and cover my face under the blanket and sleep a couple of hours more...

Always before we run in those early mornings, the coaches give us a pep talk before we begin...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I ran seven miles this morning

This video is what I filmed from my point of view this morning as I ran. I used my new FLIP camera! We ran as a group up at Annadel State Park in the frigid low 30s. It was fun. And it was hard. But it was so completely worth it! Next week 8 miles! The Half-Marathon will be set up in those hills in January. And that is what we are all training for. I look forward to being able to achieve that goal.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cat vomit on your sofa

Some days are like this.

You're feeling happy. The house is clean. You have candles lit. The house is warm. Food in the oven. Friends are coming over. And then the cat vomits on your sofa.

Disappointments always show up unexpectedly.

Home repairs.
Money difficulties.
And cat vomit.

I think the most importance in all this is how we react to these challenges. My reactions to disappointments today ultimately affects the happiness and quality of my life tomorrow. And then the next day.

Life isn't perfect.
But there are perfect moments in this life. Just like the one that's slipping away half-noticed as I finish writing out this sentence. Makes me feel sorta anxious like I ought to be doing something much more significant than typing this post.

So off I go.... have a great day. And seek out those perfect moments.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

You can do it and so can i

it's been an incredible four day weekend. I ran 25 miles this past week. Seems incredible to some. Not so much to others.

But to me, I felt as if I could do annnyyythiiiing!!!!

I was so impressed with meeeee.

I can do it!!

I laughed at times. "Look at meeeee.. i'm still running... six miles later..."

Lahhh-teee-daaaahhh!!! I would sing to myself!!

Six months ago, I was singing a different tune.

"No way".

I could run maybe a block.

But I couldn't run a lap... I knew that.

But now. I can.

I run. I run and I run and I run.

And it's amazing.

Now I know if you can set some goals you can meet them. I promise you that.

Just like my miles. If you push yourself a little bit each week, you'll be amazed at what you can do. I'm not kidding you!!

And I know you can do it. And you will.... and I will, too. Together. You and I.

It's us! The Sisters and Sister-in-Laws. Whadda Group!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 1: trail running for a half-marathon

i was a mule carrying a loaded wagon uphill. i was an indian runnin' from the cowboys under the trees. i was the pony express running through the puddles. I was a kid playing in the rain. And near the end I was a downhill skiier jumping the moguls.

i pretended to be all those things while running five miles up and down through the hills in the rain and mud this morning.

Today is the mark of my first day of training for a half-marathon set to be held in February.

It was so mentally stimulating that it didn't feel anything like exercise but more like a great playful adventure. Dodging puddles and trying not to slip in the mud, I even had to jump over a deer carcass which nearly caused me to slip and stumble...

I feel really good right now. I know this will propel me into an amazing adventure and it will help mold a new attitude about believing in myself and attaining the goals i set my mind to... because, afterall, "all things are possible to him who believes..."

I'm off to pull off my muddy clothes and warm up in a hot shower...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making the most of it

Because how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. ~Annie Dillard

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ready, Set, Go!

Yesterday was one of those days I'll remember for a long time. I ran my second 10k race.

And it felt really good!

And it was

I started the race near the end of the large pack of runners and I struggled to find a nice, clear spot where I wasn't constantly on people's heels. The urge to pass anyone and everyone was strong.

Run your own race, I repeated over and over again. It will clear out. Don't wear yourself out.

I turned back to look for Karen and Heidi and Anita and Vanda and Martha, but all I saw were faceless people charging behind me.

So I pushed ahead. I saw Dennis and Mark about 20 yards in front of me. I kept my eye on them. I imagined myself catching up to them and I did and but never did I dream of eventually passing and ultimately finishing several minutes ahead of them.

I loved the little kids at the water stops. They'd lean way out.. their arms stretched out as far as they could extend them holding up small paper cups of water. I worried for a really quick second who's little hands would I accept the water from! I didn't want any of them to feel left out. But it happened so quickly and in one swoosh, I grabbed the cup, said
Thaaank Yooou! and gulped it down .. mostly missing my mouth and drenching my shirt instead... as I continued on.

"You can do it!!" someone would shout. "You're looking strong!!" someone else would call out. Others stood clapping or slapping high-fives. I especially loved seeing my running coaches standing there calling out our names and cheering us on and really meaning it.

I found myself pushing harder and running faster.

Before I knew it and seemingly quite suddenly I was at the 5th mile post and I knew then, that nothing was going to stop me now. By now I was working on a breathing rhythm so I wouldn't become too breathless and I picked up my pace. Within a few minutes, I started hearing the cheers from the crowds at the finish line which
really got my adrenaline going.

As I got close to the finish.... I instantly recognized my mom and Lloyd and
Kelly and Matt in the sea of faces cheering me on. My mom carrying a small bouquet of sunflowers to hand me at the finish line. It was such an incredibly emotional experience seeing them standing there waiting for me to turn the corner and run for the finish line.

Six months ago, I never dreamed I would be running 6.2 miles in a race. And paying money to do it! ha!

I am still not in a place to tell you I enjoy running because I do not. But I certainly love the feeling afterward.

I am overall happy with my run. I ran it in 61 minutes though I made a mental note and goal to run it in under an hour.

And now I know I could have. If ONLY I watched the clock and kept track of my time! And next time I will do that. I still have a lot to learn.

So what was the other lesson learned this time out? I learned that whether in running or in life, it doesn't matter how fast I go out or how careful I am to save some for the end .... what it all boils down to ... is that I simply get out there and give it my best shot and run to the finish and never give up until I reach my goal.

We're all running in this life. We all feel the push at various times.

What run are you learning to run?

Maybe it's not long distance, but maybe, instead, you're putting off cleaning out your garage and getting rid of clutter you've held on to for a long time. Or maybe you've slowed down in your search for a job thinking you'll just wait to look when the economy picks up.

Whatever that is that keeps you from reaching your goal because it's uncomfortable or tiresome or doesn't feel good... my hope for you is that you keep running.

Focus on the goal and don't give up until you reach it. It'll stretch you and it'll hurt sometime and other times you just won't feel like doing it... but you can accomplish anything if you want it badly enough.

I so believe that.

And. I so believe in you.

Me, Karen and Heidi after the race

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Blur

Eye glasses are really remarkable. What a great invention. Who woulda thought by taking an out-of-focus piece of glass and putting it up to the blurry eye... it would sharpen our vision. Well. If it's the right prescription. Two wrongs don't make a right, but two blurrinesses can turn something really fuzzy into such beautiful clarity.

Now if only one can invent an eye piece for our thoughts....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Discontinued Fabric

Goodbye Kitty Capers. Goodbye Sea Monkeys.

I just heard these two fabrics I designed are going into retirement. (That's a kind word for saying they're being

It was bound to happen. Not all fabrics can work their entire fabricated lives. I guess I'll just hafta come up with something new! (
And I am!)

Happy Retirement.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vintage Farm fabric

So this was fun to do.

I was given some farm art and was given the job to recreate it into a repeat and just like I don't like telling stories without adding a bit of color and punch, I don't like creating fabric without doing the same.

I added some dogs. An extra horse. More roosters. A tractor. A windmill. A wagon and a bucketfull of apples, pigs near a trough, a fence, geese, rooster, a fence, ducks, hills, pathways, hills, sky, etc... and voila!

I rarely ever have this opportunity to take someone else's art and have the license to recreate it by combining it with my own art. It's really a lotta fun and a kick to do.

I'm really enjoying these opportunities as they present themselves.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Seemingly overnight, the hills have turned green by the recent rain we had last week. Between cooler mornings and hot afternoons. I'm never quite sure how to dress for this type of weather and by evening, I mostly feel as if I'm stuck inside a snow globe.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Kooky and Gross Candy

Halloween candy can be funny, huh?

Here's some crazy candy that you can buy anytime of the year and it doesn't have to be at Halloween. I have yet to taste any of them.

My fascination with this spooky, halloween treat began when a friend of mine recently posted this photo on facebook. It's Ear Wax candy. Inside this plastic container shaped like the human ear is a fruit-flavored gel that you gather out by using a cotton swab-inspired device.

Bag O' Blood: This is a liquidized candy that comes in sour watermelon flavor and pours out of the Bag O' Blood like.... er, well, like blood... I would have loved this as a kid whenever we played doctor. Or even as a funny trick to play on April Fools Day while in the second grade!

On the label of the Box of Boogers box, it says "Tangy Gummy Boogies that look and feel REAL!" The flavors are Lemon Loogy, Sour Green Boogy and Snottermelon. The box also boasts that it's "Ssssnot your regular gummy!" ... with a consistency similiar to snot and has that sweet-and-salty flavor. This is not the candy I would ever enjoy... but apparently there are those out there who do.This candy reminds me of those wax-candied lips we'd wear and eventually chew til our jaws wore out. These rotting teeth and unhealthy gums simply dissolves into sweet candy as you chomp down.

You can obviously see that this is a giant plastic nose that you strap onto your face so all that lovely liquid candy can just oooze onto your tongue!! Pretty gross, huh? Boys will just love 'em!

I grew up with these lovely pimples enveloping my face like wrapping paper, so this candy would not be my favorite at all! These Zit Poppers are soft and gummy, and when squeezed, a lovely gooey red substance oozes out, just like when you you pop a zit, but this time it's completely painfree!

How would you respond to someone opening up a package of these bloody band aids and asking if you wanna suck on them. There are even bandages in the box that comes complete with a bloody-looking scab. "No thanks!" I would respond. Politely, of course.

And this just might be the worse one of all. Simply because it LOOKS like a urine sample container. And get this! This lovely package of Tower of Sour Liquid Candy Urine comes in FIVE different super sour flavors!


Friday, September 25, 2009

IF: Pattern

Click on artwork to view larger

Here is a retro piece I designed as fabric. The pattern is put into a half-drop repeat. And one of these days, by golly, I will be sleeping in pajamas made of this flannel fabric.. even if it's only in my dreams.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09-09-09 at 09:09

I was driving up Hwy 101 from picking a friend up at the San Francisco Airport when I couldn't help but notice the time. I quickly pulled off an exit in Petaluma and took a quick picture. Things like this happen but once in a lifetime.

Or.. until next year when it turns 10:10 on October 1oth!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Call from an Old Friend

I picked up my ringing phone and was launched back to high school! Best friends forever, The BeeGees, playing volleyball in her church youth group, cowl neck sweaters and Farrah Fawcett hairdos.

"Shawn! I'm coming to your area! Let's get together and hang out for the afternoon."

And I thought we shouldn't so I told her that we would be like ships passing in the night because I was going to be gone that weekend. And, oh how sad, because we have so much to catch up on!

Catching up was precisely why I didn't want to see her. It all seemed so exhausting. We really don't know each other anymore.

Her life is strange to me. She is married to a pentecostal pastor and they were going to be in town to meet with other church leaders in the community.

We found each other through and in a recent email exchange, she sent me a photo of herself. She is as beautiful as ever. She was standing in front of her fireplace at home wearing a long necklace with a cross. She exchanged her Farrah Fawcett hair style to a length longer than her gown she was wearing.

When I think of her, I think of notes passed between desks in Government class. "I love Dave but Coreen loves him. So I'm going to settle on Kenny. Do you like the song Torn Between Two Lovers. Have you heard it on the radio? KFRC is playing it alot these days. Sounds like me! Ha!"

My mom can drive us to see Grease tomorrow night. Can your mom pick us up? If not, I will ask if Karen's mom can."

We washed our faces with Noxzema and shampooed with Gee-Your-Hair-Smells-Terrific and played the BeeGees, Fleetwood Mac and Peter Frampton on our stereos.

When she moved away with her family out of state, I worried how I would endure another year in school without my best friend. She hugged me and promised to write and I followed the UHaul truck all through town until they reached the onramp to the highway and disappeard into the distance.

I remember feeling so lucky to have her as my friend and I didn't know what I'd do without her.

But now I do. I do without her all the time.

It has been too many years we haven't kept in touch that it's difficult to conjur up the energy now to spend an afternoon with her. Maybe another time. Maybe because she is pentecostal and I am not. Maybe because she knows I was once a missionary, living out of a suitcase living in neighborhoods some cab drivers wouldn't even venture down and doesn't know that was a lifetime ago for me and I no longer go to church.

Maybe I'm just not ready to talk to her about it. Maybe I worry about being judged by her. Maybe because I am still sorting out all the feelings and thoughts surrounding my full time ministry days. Maybe it is all those things. I am just not ready to talk to her about it.

But she will never know that.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Benny and the Birthday Berries

I got a phone call from Tony that summer.

"Ya wanna do some writing for me?"
I knew him personally, plus he was a huge name in the Christian Publishing and I was just 23, recovering from a major injury and of course, I shouted, "YES! YES! YES!"

Initially I called the berries rash berries because I wrote into the story how they broke into a horrible rash.. a result from losing self-control and eating them. That was deleted among other things. I like to think that my original story was filled with sweet emotions and "ah-ha!" moments in cute, simple word structures. Once it was edited, I barely recognized my story. But that seemed okay by me. I was now a published writer. And I was just 23.

You can actually view my book here that turned to video:

This was during what I like to call my internship years. I was paid $30.00 a week to write the book which is still in publication today. My name is long gone from the credits but I still keep a few of the first editions where my name is still there in print.

I also did the inking in the illustrations using pantone felt pens and later when we put these books to video, I did the camera work, which makes me cringe when I see the quality of work.

We were all so young back then. Each day I would show up to work, I would pinch myself to wake me incase I was dreaming. I was so happy to be in such a creative job. It was one of my dreams coming true.

I've had many since then. But this was the beginning. This was the platform that started my fun, creative career.

Funny the things you can find on google.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dooog's Garage Theater brings memories!

I stumbled upon this video while on a google search of a kid's book i wrote in the middle of the 80s called Benny and the Birthday Berries.

I was the camera operator on this very episode ... among other things.

We were working in Pleasanton, California and I would pinch myself every morning before going into work because I couldn't believe I was working at such a fun job. We spent some crazy hours on this. I have a videotape making this film. A fun behind-the-scenes footage incase I ever decided on creating a documentary, which sometimes i still daydream about doing.

I giggle at this video now. It really does appear amateur and when I think back to those fond memories of us working on that video ... I realize the reason why it looks so amateur was because.... we were!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My very first 10K Race. Ever!

It was only this morning.

In Oakland, California I ran around Lake Merritt, twice, and created history for myself.

It was a monumental moment for me. I ran 6.2 miles alone... quietly, with only a few knowing my name, I was Bib Wearer #133.

I drove the 60 miles there alone and back again. Anyone driving behind me or passing me in the lane on the highway... would never know what I was about to embark on .... or what I had just accomplished. Something quite small, actually, to the regular seasoned runner.

But to me.

I did it.

I did something I never imagined I could. Or wanted to.

I ran more than six miles at once.

And, just because.

Just because I wanted to believe in mind over matter. Just because I believed our physical body can do so much more than what our brain can dictate.

I wanted to push myself. I wanted to feel the stretch. I wanted to push past my comfort zone and feel the empowerment in doing that.

I realize it was just 6.2 miles.

But, I have never run that far before. This morning, while running past people walking alongside their dogs or friends, or talking on their cell phones... I knew they had no clue, that there was history in the making for me. But there was.

I felt truly alive.

I felt like I could achieve anything when I set my mind to it. And I have. And I will.

6.2 miles at a time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

See you at the finish line!

I was talking to a licensed artist recently and she said that she was surprised at what sold well for her. They were lines she never considered anyone would really take interest to.

The designs she
thought would be big sellers weren't so.

And then some she threw in the line at the last minute ... became her
bread and butter.

Her words stayed with me for a very long time.

I'm an in-house designer.

I have no idea if any of my fabrics are selling well and those that are, what style is it that customers are drawn to?

I'm unsure whether or not, I should continue drawing the style as I have been doing or try momentarily, to push the envelope and try something new.

I am curious about that. I always want to push myself as an artist. To try something new.
And different.

Perhaps in some obscure way, it's why I have started running.

I don't enjoy running, but I joined a running group and run three days a week. It pushes me. Pushes me beyond my comfort zone. Pushes me beyond my limits. To the outer-limits.

When it's all said and done, I can say, "
i did it!"
I can say, "
I gave it my all.."
I pushed myself beyond all I could hope for."

And in the end, I want to hear as a result,
"I am so proud of you!"
"Yay! You DID it!"
"I didn't think you could do it, but you did!!!"

But. Aren't we all this way? Aren't
you this way?
As a nurse, as a teacher, as an admin assistant.. don't you push yourself, too?

See what I mean?
We're not really different,
afterall, are we.

See you at the finish line....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Princess fabric!

Here are a few more fabrics I designed. This was specifically designed for chidren's sleepware and possible bedding. It sure was fun creating these.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cat Scratch Fever

So, my lovely Max -- the stray cat who has camped out on my front porch since last July --snuggled up behind me and laid down at my feet while I was watering my row of boxwoods.

I didn't see him.. and I stepped back to water at a better angle and .... CRUNCH!!!

He bit into my ankle to let me know I had him penned between my shoe and the sidewalk!! His teeth slicing into my bone was painful! But I didn't look at my own injury until I checked out Max's injury... feeling every inch of his sweet, purring body, I felt confident he wasn't in any pain so I went inside and took a good look at my injury.

By morning I couldn't put any weight on my foot so I called the doctor and they told me to come in right away.

I was given a tetanus shot and a week's supply of antibiodics and three days later, my cat bite looked like this:

I'm feeling much better now. The two fang bites are still healing, but please, if you experience a cat bite and it swells up, please contact your doctor at once. I don't know if I had Cat Scratch Fever but I did have a serious infection. And they say it is much more common than we think it is. Now I dare you to say cat scratch fever without singing those lines.

Go ahead.

Couldja do it?

I couldn't!!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Green Light Jerky

I received a really nice email the other week from Green Light Jerky Company.

They somehow found and read
my gruesome bad beef jerky experience from a few years ago while vacationing in Austin. While hoping I hadn't given up on beef jerky altogether, they asked if they could send me a free sample of their own to see if they could possibly persuade me into eating beef jerky again.

Well, hell yeah!!!
How could I refuse!? I sent them my address and last night the package arrived in my mailbox.

Not only is it delicious, but it doesn't have any preservatives in it, such as nitrates or MSG and stuff like that.

And they seem like a really fun group of folks!
They even have a Monthly Raffle!

All you hafta do is submit a picture of yourself with a bag of their Green Light Jerky.
(even an empty bag is fine with them!) And if you're selected, you'll receive a free bag! Pretty cool, huh?

(Oh. And by the way, the small stick of jerky I'm holding up in my hand isn't that tiny. The rest of that delicious stick is in my mouth!)

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to submit my photo.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Small beginnings

A friend of mine keeps sending me pictures of his vegetable garden. And each time I see it, I am surprised by how much it has grown. He sent me a box of some zucchinis last week and I have been enjoying them immensely. He emailed me last night and said, "more on the way!"

So it was no surprise when I was walking into Safeway the other day and saw tomato plants for sale outside the entrance to the store, that I quickly scooped one up for my own.

I haven't done a thing to them but they sure are producing fine tomatoes. I picked a few this morning and will enjoy eating them with my lunch.

There is something very nurturing about having one's own plant to eat from.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

More rugs

While browsing through a family's photos on the internet, I nearly missed seeing one of my very own Hot Wheels rugs I designed laying there on their living room floor! It really caught me off guard. I came really close to not even seeing it because it was so familiar to me.

Here is my actual artwork:

Then, out of curiosity, I googled Thomas the Train rugs, and when I did, another one of my rugs showed up! This rug is 40" x 40"!

I created this and nearly all my work in Adobe Illustrator.

I was really excited to find these. Too often, I sit way too long behind the computer working on designs that I never seem to have time to stop what I'm doing for even a short time so I can see the finished work. And it's so important to do that.

Because. ... When you don't do that. And when you just sit there and pound out the work day after day but never see the end result, you never see what you have actually accomplished.

And when you never see what you have accomplished ... then you never ever feel that sense of completeness. You never see the dream fulfilled. And you need to see that. You need to see that your work is valuable. You need to embrace there is only one of you in this world and when you design your art... it comes up from your own unique self.

Embrace it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just another Race Track rug

This one is just your basic race track. It's for a rug where young kids can roll their own cars along the tracks and play. These rugs are pretty large. You've probably seen something like this before in someone's house. Maybe you might even own one... (I've designed quite a few of these... I'll show them from time to time... along with new fabric I've been designing...)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hot Wheels Rug

Besides designing fabric, I've also been designing children's interactive rugs. This one is a licensed artwork for Hot Wheel.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Flat and fat and who's path am I on anyway?

I've been feeling so monotone lately.

I think I'm going through the change.

That's what my mom calls it. "Going through the change".

I used to think that was something that happened to women in their 50s or possibly even in their 60s .... but ... apparently... I am wrong. Women are becoming peri-menopausal as early as their 20s these days! Not that I'm anywhere near my 20s....

I haven't written nearly as much as i have wanted, because ... to be honest with you ... whenever I sit down to write, I stare blankly at my computer's monitor for seemingly hours without a word to say.

The only thing I seem to accomplish is to breathe in deep and exhale a gust of air and watch my bangs blow upward toward the ceiling as I wait for just the right words to pop into my brain. But the only words that do surface are words like whatcha-macallit and thinga-majig or that doo-hickey.

What happened? My brain was once full. And now.. it's like someone gathered up all my passion and fun and excitement and drive into one large empty grocery bag and then tossed it into the nearest garbage bin.

For a while now, I've been self-reflecting and evaluating my blog, my life, my friends, and pretty much everything else that happens to find it's way across my path. Is this the right path for me? Is there a better one?

Everything that once was, seems to be no longer. The only thing predictable now is the unpredictability. My body is not playing fair anymore, either. I'm not liking it. It's almost as if the simple smell of food seems to be enough to pack on a coupla pounds around my mid-section. It's nothing short of hormonal terrorism.

My life feels like it's passing me by in a galloping pace and I want to jump in and start living in it more. I want to feel excited about things again like I once did not that long ago ... when it's 2 am and I'm super wide awake but who cares, because this is so much fun! And then I wake up early because I can't wait to start doing whatever that is again.

I'm not recognizing me much these days. My stories don't seem to have any rhythm to them. In fact, I don't feel like telling them. Sometimes I begin and then after a paragraph, I fear the story is not interesting enough and I need to stop. I want to show a project I've been working on and even that seems puny and silly to share.

I think, perhaps, my Muse has packed up her bags and bought a one-way ticket out of town.

Hang in there with me. I'll be back sooon. The me that once was.

Isn't that right? Those who have traveled this path before me? We really do come back as ourselves, don't we? Please say yes....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

... and then I turned 12

When i was 7, I couldn't get enough of Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Encyclopedia Brown series, Amelia Bedelia, The Little's Take a Trip and Harold the Purple Crayon.

When I was 9, I moved on to Charlotte's Web, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Harriet the Spy, The Great Brain and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

By 11, I was reading Of Mice and Men, Little Women, Gone With The Wind, Mystery at Thunderbolt House and Mrs. Mike.

And then I turned 12.

Something happened. It was called Assigned Reading.

I had to read whatever I was given within a short period of time and then write about it.

Or worse!

Stand in front of the classroom and speak about it publicly.. making sure I gave the entire class the proper eye contact and project my voice across the classroom.

One of the books I had to read was The Red Badge of Courage. In my assignment, I had to point out the emotional symbols in the book. Such as ... Henry sees a lot of blood (emotional symbol) and death (emotional symbol) and this causes him to run away from battle (emotional response) which makes him feel ashamed (another emotion).

Something shifted inside me during that time, and, no matter how hard I tried to read, the words would just fall off the page and into my lap.

I suffered quietly.

I cheated my way through book assignments and public book reports from that day forward.

Sometimes, when I could, I falsified my own book report with make-believe characters and created summaries or stole them from short stories out of a magazine and lengthened them into any novel I wanted it to be.

Because in truth .. by then, the only things I read were the back of cereal boxes, Tigerbeat magazines and my mother's National Enquirers.

I envy those who join book clubs and those who spend their weekends by the pool reading their books expanding their minds by what they read.

I have read two books in the past three years or more. Fried Green Tomatoes and The Secret Life of Bees. Both books brought me so much joy. I remember how I felt between readings. I missed the characters and I looked forward to delving back in and reading. And I felt so sad when the book was over.

That's how all books should be.

Do you have a favorite book that I would perhaps enjoy reading? A book where the words stay in place and don't slip down the page and onto my lap? Summer is quickly approaching. I would so enjoy joining the others around the pool with a book in hand instead of my People magazine.

I'm interested in all types of books in all different categories. Or so, I would like to think that.

Just as long as there are easy-to-read short chapters with medium size text with lots of paragraphs just incase I wanted to stop reading between chapters, it would be a nice resting place.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

It is never too late....

"Everyone is afraid they have missed the boat. We worry that we are too old, we missed it, it passed us by ... or we fear we might miss it if we are not looking all the time. But the truth is, you ARE the boat. No matter how old or young you are, you are the boat. You can't miss it! If you are still alive, you have things to do!" ~Carolyn Myss

It is never too late to sail. Do it today. Lick you finger and figure out the wind. And just head in that direction. Your fate will carry you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Inside other people's fridge

I'm not sure why, but it just feels wrong to be a guest in someone else's house and open the door to their refrigerator. Even if they ask me to take out the gallon of milk, my eyes stay fixed on the milk carton and I don't allow them to wander anywhere else.

It's as though I've been asked to grab an extra roll of toilet paper in the master bedroom's bathroom or grab a coat from someone's closet.

I thought it would be fun to take pictures of the inside of refrigerators. A place that feels so private. A place we sometimes fear to venture.