December can be extremely hectic. Don't forget to add some fun time to your schedule. If you are always with people, go do something by yourself. If you are often alone, go do something with new friends.
Today's theme is be more cuddly. Find someone to snuggle up with. It's chilly out, even here in S. California. Nothing beats curling up in bed for a little late sleep in under some cozy blankets. It does wonders for the ego. If hinting doesn't work just say, "I need to cuddle. Any volunteers?" If that doesn't work, grab your dog, cat, teddy bear or sock monkey. They are always up for some cuddling.
I do apologize for getting behind on this as I have been sick for two weeks. My cold sequed into a toothache which sequed into a relapse of the cold. I'm not sure if I should work backwards and fill in the themes in hindsite or just start where I am and try to get motivated again. This is a painting I did right before I got sick. Then in the 3 days between cold part one and cold part two I started working on greeting cards which are still unfinished. It's raining today so if I feel up to it I'll work on those so I can get them sent in December. I'm writing an article on greeting cards so I need to finish them so I can publish the article on Hubpages.
Since my daughter came to visit yesterday, I wasn't able to do many of the things I usually do. One of those things is write 1,667 words a day for Nanowrimo. I got no writing done yesterday, so this morning I wrote 1667 words. Which means I wrote enough for today, but I still have to make up for two days of not writing. So I really need to write another 3334 words today so I don't get hopelessly far behind. But at least I have the rest of the day to do it in.
Another goal I'm reaching today is mailing a chemo cap to a dear lady. I tried to mail it yesterday but I forgot it was Veteran's Day and the post offices were closed. Once I get that mailed I'll feel a lot better about myself.
My daughter was in town so I dropped everything to spend as much time with her as possible. She lives about 350 miles away and works 3 jobs so I don't see her often. We got some shopping done, talked about her new photography business, ate lots and had a great time. My boyfriend took us to the Asian Buffet for lunch. My daughter has a business meeting tomorrow all day in Long Beach. So she may go straight home from there, or she may come back over. We'll see.
Tonight I had a writer's meeting at a Starbucks for Nanowrimo. Only when I got there, it was closed. A little note was stuck to the door that our meeting had been moved to Brookhurst and Crescent. The note didn't say if that was another Starbucks, another house, or if we were going to be standing on a street corner with our laptops. So note to self...write more thorough notes. So I had to do a bit of exploring in the dark to find the other Starbucks. It's not even at that intersection, but half a block up. And because of the layout of the tables and chairs I couldn't even sit with the writers. I ended up sitting by myself on the other side. But they all had laptops, so I had more flexibility in where I could sit. There are some advantages to writing long hand. So I wrote with a pen in a notebook. I left early though, because I figured if I'm just going to sit alone and write, I may as well be at home.
Of course then when I got home I had to type it all into my computer. But that gives me a chance to do a bit of editing while I'm writing.
So taking things in stride means to be flexible with changes in plans. Don't let it ruin your whole day.
I probably didn't win any brownie points today but at least I had integrity. Our Nanowrimo writing group went to Build-a-Bear in Downtown Disney presumably to make writing mascots. Though a popular and fun idea for most, I had no interest in dropping $50 at Build-a-Bear and another $25 at the expensive restaurant they chose to have lunch at. I'm doing my best to live within my means, and not only that, but I'd rather make a one of a kind original bear if I wanted to have a bear. If they'd had a pot luck make your own bear bash I would have been all over that. I had to struggle to stand up to them and say over and over again 'no I'm not making a bear today'. And also, I ate a cheap lunch on the way there, so at the restaurant I only got a coke to tide me over. I saw no reason to pay over $9.00 for a bowl of soup and a plate of bread. I was going to order dessert to be social, but the cheapest dessert was $9 as well. Either those people are thriving in this economy more than I am, or they are charging everything to keep up with the Joneses.
So either the Nanowrimo in Orange County is unique and more into this writing thing for their parties or the serious writers are holed up in their dens and apartments writing like crazy while everyone else is building bears at Downtown Disney.
So my theme today is being yourself even when peer pressure is trying to control you.
Today's theme is to do something in memory of a departed loved one. So I'm doing embroidery, which I learned from my mother when I was a child. I remember her teaching me the lazy daisy stitch and the chain stitch. I can't believe I don't have a single thing my mother made. Out of all the things she crocheted, tatted, sewed or embroidered. I'm not sure if my other siblings got anything like that, or if her sisters sold it all off at the swap or tossed it out. I remembered I asked for her sewing tools at least, but my aunt tried to find them and couldn't. But I will still have my memories, right?
Manipulation. Do you recognize it when it happens to you? Many of us don't. People can manipulate us with tears, with guilt, with anger, with sarcasm. Give some thought to how you are being manipulated, but also to how you manipulate others.
Today I committed to doing Nanowrimo again. The National Novel Writer's Month challenge. I can't even remember my user name on the site. Oh well, I'll make a new one if I have to. I went ahead and started writing my novel though. I decided to make it about Theodora's Theater of the Absurd, to match a blog I have.
The reason I call it doing the impossible is that I've never won the Nanowrimo challenge. November is like the worst month ever for this because as an artist Nov. is crunch time for making and listing potential Christmas gifts in my Etsy shops. And also for finishing holiday presents. I would prefer any other month except Nov, and Dec. Also, Thanksgiving is right in the middle of the Nanowrimo adventure. Whoever picked November must have been a masochist. But once I heard that not only is Freakishlemon doing it, but also that he succeeded last year, made me feel like I was a loser if I didn't go for it. So suckered in again.
Also yesterday my daughter made an offhand remark about how I'd written a lot for someone that wasn't a 'professional writer'. I guess it makes me sad that my family doesn't take my endeavors seriously, though maybe she didn't mean anything by it. I consider myself as professional as any other writer that writes every single day, even if I don't have ten novels on a bestsellers list somewhere, Hmphf. So after that remark I was spurred on even more to get back to novel writing and Nanowrimo 2009.
As a writer it's easy to get busy and lost in one's own world and forget about everyone else out there that is working really hard and writing all the time. So my theme today is honoring other writers, specifically bloggers. I'm off to read some other blogs and leave comments and appreciate the online community. After all, without readers it's just another journal.
We celebrated Halloween a lot this year. On Thursday night we dressed up for the SLO Farmer's Market. On Sat. we painted faces on the Pismo Pier. On Sat. night my daughter's family went to a Halloween party and I stayed at her house and handed out candy. I got to be a witch and a pirate.
But I also spent the time thinking about my ancestors. My departed mother, my sister who is either missing or deceased, and friends I've lost to cancer. Halloween or Samhain as is the pagan tradition is the day for honoring the dead.
I came up to visit my daughters and my grandson a day early. I wanted a chance to see them outside of the Halloween event we were working at. So much has changed since the last time I came. My daughter got a new carpet, my grandson is walking now, my other daughter is busy being a wedding photographer. Everyone is so busy. It's easy to feel disconnected.
By the time you read this I will be on a train traveling up the central coast of CA. It's always a good idea to take a casual trip on public transportation so you can learn the ropes. Then when you really need to take public transportation you'll have some experience. So I'm taking a short 5 hour trip which is half train and half bus up to see my grandson. He just turned one. Next time you want to take a day trip consider a train or a bus. Give your car the day off.
Today I went to move my truck for street sweeping and found someone had broken into it. So I figured it was a good time to test out today's theme, which is 'asking for help'. So I called the police and they helped me make a report and gave me advice on what to do if it happens again. Sometimes we can't handle things alone. It takes a more experienced person to know what to do.
Life passes by so quickly. The older I get the faster it seems to go. So I do my best to document it. That's why I blog and keep journals. It's a way to say, "Yes I was here." Art journals don't have to be expensive. I like to stock up in late Aug. when school supplies are on special everywhere. Then I like to decorate the cover with a painting or a collage and make it personal. I used to try to add to it daily but sometimes that becomes too much like another chore. But I do keep it out where I can see it so I don't forget to paint or draw in it. Don't forget to add something in your own handwriting to it. It doesn't matter if you are not a calligrapher. What matters it that you are you and your handwriting or printing or scribbling is park of who you are. So grab a pen and write down something in there. It can be poetry or an essay or even a grocery list. But get it in there. Because one of these days you may not be able to hold a pen, or you may go blind or you may have hands that shake a lot. It's one more of those things that you can't take for granted. So get busy and get a journal.
Today I started practicing my didgeridoo again. I took it to the archery tournament yesterday and a lot of people loved it, but I didn't know how to play it. I realized I had given up on learning because it doesn't come easy to me. So tonight I practiced for awhile until I drove my boyfriend nuts. Not so much because the noise bothers him, but because his advice for playing it just don't seem to make sense to me. So I guess I'll have to practice it in the park or something. It just boggles my mind that people can breathe in and out at the same time.
Today I shared a craft booth and it was an epic fail. We visualize things so differently. I won't go into it here because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I've shared booths with other people in the past and had no trouble what so ever so I don't get why I can't make this work. The physical part of setting up a craft booth is hard enough without all this emotional drama.
Getting organized for a tiny craft venue. An opportunity to sell my art to the public. But it turns out making the inventory was the easy part compared to getting it all into the truck. I tore up the house, the backyard, and the garage just for a tiny half day gig. Sheesh. And now I'll spend most of next week getting it put back again so we can walk through the living room. That is the downside to running a home business. It can take over all your living space.
I have noticed lately, and it's partly to blame on the fun video games on Facebook.com, that I'm struggling to stay in balance. Balance means not spending so much time on line that your accounting suffers, or your relationships with the 3-D people suffer, or your career suffers. Each day has to have some fitness time, some spiritual time, some intellectual time, some sexual time. Because we are complex people. We are like gardens. In a garden, you can't just water, and never have sunshine. You can't fertilize too much or too little. You can't let the weeds eat all your nutrients.
Video games are a lot like weeds. They can steal your focus for hours on end. Especially if you are compulsive like I am and can't break the inertia to go do something else. Sometimes I'm relieved when the game goes down for maintanence. That means I can finally go to bed. Or go do laundry. Or water the garden. Too much of anything is not that great. You can't write for 5 hours straight. Or juggle for four hours a day. Or knit till your hands feel like falling off. Gotta mix it up a little.
Experimenting is an important part of being an artist or a musician or a parent. Sometimes we may fall flat on our faces, but to not even try new things is to admit failure before the starting gun for the race has even gone off. So today I tried a knitting technique that I'm not that familiar with. I'm not sure if I've ever done it before or not, but I want to knit a rug. I never knitted a rug before. I crocheted one once, but that's about it.
I had to start 3 times before it looked right. So if you are going to experiment, be persistant.
I'm devoting today to doing what must be done to keep my home running smoothly. That means carrying out the trash, doing laundry, washing dishes, and so forth. Not a task I'm happy to have but a task that if not done makes me feel like things are falling down around me. I can't have inner peace when a cockroach is crawling up my leg. I didn't sleep well last night, so I don't know how long my energy will hold up, but I'll do what I can.
My painting professor once told us that the path to madness is not working with your hands. For our ultimate health we need to be making and building things with our hands. So today I continued working on my atlatl darts, shaving down the reed shafts and cutting off the nodes so I can add feathers later. It is life affirming to work with your hands.
I chose Jack Lalane as my momentary mentor. He is 90 and still works out two hours a day. So I'm going to walk to the grocery store today instead of driving. I met him once and he's the real deal. The grandfather of the fitness revolution. Bless your heart Jack, and your lovely wife too.
Today's theme is dealing with threats. How do you deal with threats? How can you teach a threatening person to find a better way to resolve issues. I came home to find a note with a death threat on my front door. Probably just a hoax from bored neighborhood kids. It had my name on it, then it said "This is your killer. In two days you die." It was neatly printed with a pen on a small yellow post it note. Now what?
I spent part of today painting the interior of my Tortuga Gourd Drum. It has a sea turtle on it and Tortuga means turtle. The next part is to put the head on it. But I think all the hide got used up on other drums, so I'll have to buy some more rawhide somewhere. That's what I get for procrastinating. While my project was on the back burner all the rawhide got used up by someone else. But at least I made some progress.
No matter what kind of drum you are making, have fun today working on it. There are really simple drums and really complicated ones. I would say this gourd drum is moderately complicated.
It happens to all of us from time to time. I won't say a lot about it, other than I'm not just going to sit here feeling bad all day. I'm going to go sew or something. I'm waiting for the muslin in the dryer to get dry so I can cut out some dolls. The body is made out of muslin.
Our plans to drive to Santa Barbara today got cancelled because of rain. So it occurs to me a great theme is to be more flexible. Always be willing to substitute one activity for another. I'm more than happy to stay in out of the rain and work on my knitting, embroidery, and blogging.
I think computer games have a plus side. You are challenging your mind in new ways. I recently started playing Evony (which I found via Facebook). Unlike some of the Facebook games, which are too juvenile. I found Evony appeals to a side of me that likes to be challenged. It's a strategy game. If you go there looking for quick action you'll surely be disappointed. In the game you are building a city and you can only build one thing at a time. That alone seems to drive a lot of gamers nuts. They want to build the whole city in 5 minutes and it doesn't work that way. So my theme for today is Learn a New Game. It can be on the computer, or it can be boards game, yard games, card games or whatever strikes your fancy.
What do we do when we are stuck with a holiday we don't believe in? Such is the case with Columbus Day. Columbus was a horrible individual. So how do I celebrate this day? I do it by paying honor to Native Americans; those who suffered mightily at his hand and all those that were tortured when America was going through birth pangs.
I celebrate it by doing Native American crafts like bowmaking, basketry, beading and leatherwork. I celebrate it by song and dance and storytelling. I honor it by listening to the story of any Native Americans I happen to meet. I go to their powwows and watch their rituals.
Today's theme by default became 'working on relationships'. Maybe Mars is in retrograde but everyone I know is having communication problems with their loved ones. One of them just ended a 9 year relationship. It was a very stressful day. And I'm not even sure where we stand right now. In the morning things will either be much better or much worse.
For today's theme, I'm making sourdough bread starter. I found excellent directions here: sourdough
My boyfriend did this once, but when we moved we lost it. So I'm going to start again. It takes days to do it right, so if you want to try it, make sure you are not going out of town for the week.
Focus on what you want, not what you don't want. Because whatever you focus on gets bigger, closer, more real. So my focus today is on being a money magnet and attracting prosperity and being thankful for what I already have. I have food, I have shelter, I have love, I have pets, I have my health, I have children, I have creativity, and I have the opportunity to work on the Internet.
Sometimes we learn a lot when we make a prototype. But we learn even more when we expand on that idea. So I expanded on my cat scene and made this with cat applique project. I'm not quite finished with the first one, but while the idea was still fresh in my mind I cut out the purple cats with witch hats quilting applique scene.
Today's theme was a tricky one. It was going to be Celebrate Your Spirituality because I thought we were going to the Pagan Pride Fair LA 2009. But then things got off to a bad start and I took off all my finery and was going to stay home. Then once I had my gardening clothes on we ended up going after all. I did see some other psychics I used to work with at the Learning Light Foundation and I got to see the Morris dancers from Long Beach CA. Here're some photos of today's festivities.
I decided to make a Halloween Quilt picture so I went to the fabric store at bought 23 different prints, but only 5 of them are specifically for the Halloween Quilt. It's going to be cats at night wearing witch's hats. Fun! The other fabric is for quilts I'm in the middle of making. Yay, it's a joy to buy fabric for quilting. I only got 1/2 yard of each and my total was under $25.
Tonight I'm making falafels, and I haven't had them in many years. I found out the local stores I typical haunt don't carry any of the supplies. No wonder I stopped making them. But today we went to an International supermarket and I found all the ingredients, so tonight we are having pita pockets with falafels. My boyfriend said he'd at least try it, but he's against anything that has the appearance of a vegetarian meal. So he may be cooking a can of chili if he doesn't care for the taste of falafels. More for me I guess. There is more on my cooking blog.
Today's theme was to start a blog to embrace Theater of the Absurd and what it means in my life. It is important to maintain a spirit of fun and play in life to combat stress. And my life truly is absurd a lot of the time. So go visit my new blog and leave your own thoughts on the absurdity of life.
Today I'm going to move 100 things in my apartment to either a better spot or a different spot. That will renew the energy and clean out dusty corners and give me a chance to hold and appreciate everything I already own, and count my blessings. I want to start sewing some long over due projects so I can start with moving the things that are blocking the sewing machine. I also want to play my piano so I need to move the things that are blocking the piano. I'm going to give 100 items a new 'Home'.
Today's theme was to spend time alone journaling and reading and knitting and just hearing my own thoughts. To know what I really thought and not what was just being layered over my thinking by other people and the media. To work on my own inner psychology, if you will.
I want to make cherry tarts so I got some Philo dough at the market so I would actually do the recipe when I have time. Right now we have too much food that needs to be eaten first, but everything is ready for when I get a chance to make them. I'm going to use a recipe off the Internet but I haven't found just the right one yet. Or I'll just improvise.
Today's theme was making new friends. I knew I was going to a Stitch and Bitch and was pretty sure there would be new people there. I wasn't disappointed. I met Heidi, who was busy crocheting a wiggly cat toy, and Laura, who was knitting a wide scarf. I worked on some crocheting and then some knitting. My boyfriend worked on his gourd bowls. Marianne was making some socks out of alpaca and wool that she'd spun herself. I wish I'd taken a drop spindle. Oh well maybe next time.
My theme today is to get little things and paint on them. Add embellishments like daisies or spirals or polka dots. Jazz things up a bit. Personalize some gifts. Make some stationary. Put a little liquid happiness on things.
Today I got some fancy paint, then couldn't find anything I wanted to put it on. Does that mean I was a failure or a success?
Is cursive going the way of the dinosaur? My boyfriend told me about this article on the decline of cursive writing as schools transition to the world of keyboards and computer communication. http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2009/09/19/2009-09-19_cursive_writing_is_a_fading_skill_but_do_we_care_enough_to_save_it.htmlCursive It's going to be one more skill future generations won't have if no one cares enough to preserve it. So my goal today was to write a letter in cursive to my penpal Carol, but also to continue doing my 3 pages a day of journal writing by long hand whenever I have the chance. Today I realized my right hand became fatiqued quickly as I tried to write in cursive. The fine motor control required will disappear with lack of use. Try to think to when you wrote at least a page in cursive recently. I've always loved penmanship and it's not a skill I'd want to lose.
Tomorrow's theme is going to be work on cursive writing. My boyfriend just read somewhere that cursive writing is a dying art and that a lot of schools aren't even teaching it anymore. That's because we are email and word processor junkies. When is the last time you wrote a letter by hand? I do make my hard covered journal posts in long hand, so I probably get more practice than most people, but it wouldn't hurt to brush up on my letter forms.
My theme for today was to grab the novel I've been trying to finish before it's due at the library and read as much of it as possible. My goal of reading 100 books of year has kind of fallen by the wayside. I also have the next book in the series I need to read. They are due at the same time.
Since I managed to miss Rachel Brice at the Cairo Carnivale, and just happened upon her on Youtube, I decided to dedicate today's theme to belly dancing. Honestly, had I known she'd been there I would have gone. I've probably been to that event 10 times in 30 years.I've even danced to that song before.
Today I went to the Paleoplanet gathering where a friend walked me through the process of making a berimbau and a caxixi. It's an instrument that the Brazilians brought with them from Africa. It is used to accompany the martial arts style called capoeira. Since I won't be flipping over like that any time soon, I can at least appreciate the music.
Today's theme is 'Putting Shopping Carts on My Websites'. But after about 2 hours of that I can't take it any more. At least I made some progress. I found out my Webhost has a free shopping cart system. So that's a plus. My goal is to get my 3 websites to bring in an income. At least some income, any income. I'm paying about $120 a year for my webhost and come Oct. all three of my domain names will be due for renewal. So yeah, I want those to start earning their keep. So every day I'm going to do something to improve them.
Today I worked on my inner witch. I needed to recycle some cans and bottles today. It's always crowded at the recycling place. So I visualized a slow time with no one there but me and the workers. When I pulled in, the two workers were sitting under the shade tree and not another person was using the facility. I was in and out of there in ten minutes.
Then I visualized my favorite watermelon popsicles, and had an urge to pull into a liquor store by my house that I don't normally go to, and right inside their front door was a freezer with my favorite popsicle right on top. Yay!
I thought it would be way cool really good fun to have a theme of the day for my life, or you can adopt this blog and do it with me. I was in the shower where most good ideas are born, and I thought I should have a daily theme and today's should be 'cleaning up after yourself'. So voila, a new blog is born. I started with emptying out the dishwasher so dirty dishes don't pile up in the sink. And I picked up some stray things in the bathroom and found a better spot for them. My bathroom counter space sometimes looks like a knick-knack shelf.