Monday, November 28, 2005

Monday, Monday

Well, the winter weather has arrived with a brisk 19 degrees this morning! I'm glued to my chair, surfing without guilt, generally an emotion I don't subscribe to. Hope everyone is happy to be off the reading deprivation, and I haven't even started on Chapter 5. I better get with it. But I ran across this birthday thing, and since it had me so well pegged, I thought I'd post it here. I need to find some maroon clothing and empower myself, at least enough to get up off this chair!

Your Birthdate: February 7

You are an island. You don't need anyone else to make you happy.
And though you see yourself as a loner, people are drawn to you.
Deep and sensitive, you tend to impress others with your insights.
You also tend to be psychic - so listen to that inner voice!

Your strength: Your self sufficiency

Your weakness: You despise authority

Your power color: Maroon

Your power symbol: Hammer

Your power month: July

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunday, November 27, 2005


I did my morning pages 7 out of 7 days, but I must admit that one of the days was a little more than a page. If I don't do them first thing in the morning when my time is mine, then it's easy for them to go on the back burner.

I had a wonderful week. Pat was here from Tuesday through Saturday. We did a lot...dyed fabric, and I also dyed a bunch of white underwear. (I'm now an artist in hiding!) We took walks every day. My daughters came home on Wednesday night. We cooked and ate and just had a good time. The weather cooperated perfectly. Everyone made their way home before this morning's snow flurry here! Winter is indeed upon us.

I'm particularly antsy, and I want to redo the whole house all at once, and get it all done before Dec. 25th when we'll have family here for the holidays. What's spurring all of this is that it looks like we're going to be doing this for at least a while longer. We had some potential buyers last week, and we found out it's not going to work for them, and so we are here for a while longer. This is the easy time of year to be in this business because it is really slow, and we can concentrate on our house, health, lives. We're going to take the motel off the market at the end of the year, and that makes life a little more settled. At least I know I'm not looking at trying to deal with moving or storing all our "stuff." There is still one more possible potential buyer, but I really don't think it's going to happen, though if it did, I would happily change gears.

I didn't even try to do the reading deprivation. I felt like I had already done that when I was on vacation. So I'll do the first task and describe my ideal environment:

My ideal environment would be away from a city, but close enough to enjoy some of the things that are just not available in a rural setting. I used to have visions of a larger and larger home, but anymore I would be happiest in something manageable. I don't particularly like cleaning, and so I wouldn't want too large a place to manage. I like being at the foothills, with an expansive southwest view. I had my fill of living in the mountains, and don't care for that anymore. My favorite season is fall. I love the colors, the way the light is tempered from the harshness of summer. I would like to have a storm cellar full of my home canned foods, a good supply of firewood, and lots of art supplies to keep me entertained for winter. This passive solar home could be adobe, straw bale, rammed earth...I'm not picky. I no longer want carpeting in a home. I'd like to have in floor heating with painted cement floors.

Something like on this order would do nicely!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Three-meme & D'Artagnon

Rian's Meme ... Pat's ... Sophie's and mine:

1. Three screen names that you've had: blueswallow, neonquilter, blueswallowmotel.
2. Three things you like about yourself: my sensitivity, my ethnicity, my humor.
3. Three things you don't like about yourself: my weight, my lack of patience, my tear ducts.
4. Three parts of your heritage: Brazilian, Polish, Portuguese
5. Three things that scare you: driving on snow or ice, horror movies, my own imagined horrors.
6. Three of your everyday essentials: the internet, coffee, hot shower at the end of the day.
7. Three things you are wearing right now: jeans, t-shirt, polar fleece jacket.
8. Three of your favorite songs: To Where You Are (Josh Groban), Daughters (John Mayer), God Only Knows (The Beach Boys).
9. Three things you want in a relationship: laughter, tenderness, understanding. (I couldn't do better than Sophie's.)
10. Two truths and a lie: I climbed Pike's Peak, I won a 10K run, I played with Dean Martin's kids.
11. Three things you can't live without: a computer with internet connection, my family, my friends.
12. Three places you want to go on vacation: Brazil, Hawaii, Australia.
13. Three things you just can't do: watch scary movies/tv, understand higher math, tolerate stooopid people.
14. Three kids names: Franny, Zoey, Lindsay Daffodil--what my older wanted to name her sister. (we dropped the Daffodil)
15. Three things you want to do before you die: get back in better shape, better health, make peace with my monsters.
16. Three celeb crushes: Harrison Ford, Orlando Bloom, Bono.
17. Three of your favorite musicians: Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, Paul Simon.
18. Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to you: feet, hands, sense of humor.
19. Three of your favorite hobbies: cooking, quilting, making stuff.
20. Three things you really want to do badly right now: get healthy, get organized, get rid of some of my stuff. (again my sentiments exactly, Sophie)
21. Three careers you're considering/you've considered: owning a restaurant, court reporter, retirement.
22. Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy: I prefer driving our big diesel truck, am mechanically inclined, swear.
23. Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: don't channel surf with the remote, can multi-task, and cry much too easily.
24. Now who's next?

Monday, November 21, 2005

No reading!

Okay, I read Chapter 4, and I can tell this is going to be one of the things that I am not going to follow very well. (And if the rest of you are following it rigidly, you won't be reading this!) But, I must say that I did follow it for about a week and a half while on our vacation just recently, so I think that counts for something. For some reason, I wasn't even in the mood to read a book. I had brought a variety with me, but I just wasn't drawn to it. In previous vacations I have devoured books by Tom Clancy, Dan Brown, Alexander McCall Smith. This time I just ignored everything I had brought, and for the most part we had no TV reception. I must confess I'm a television junkie, and have been all my life.

It's funny that this worked out to be during the Thanksgiving week when a lot of people will be getting together and I daresay there won't be a lot of reading involved anyway. Synchronicity. I'll check in next Sunday then.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Week 3 Check-in

As usual time seems to be moving along faster and faster around the holidays. The days themselves are so short, and I'm very much a creature that succumbs to sleeping when it's dark out, except the few hours before it's light.

I did my morning pages 7 out of 7 days, and they really don't reveal much to me. They are very similar to the daily confessionals I've been writing to my friend Rosie for many years now. With few exceptions we write each other daily, so it was a habit already ingrained.

I don't know that I did anything that I could count as an artist date, but my well is so full, it is overflowing. I had so much inspiration and am so filled with ideas after my vacation that I need to carve out some time to start putting them into reality. I tend to put constraints on my creating by making up rules about needing things in order and put away before I can start. It's a long established habit, and when I give it any thought, I know I'm going to make a mess all over again, but I feel like I need to have a handle on it before I start.

In finally getting to the end of this chapter, one of the comments that Sophie made about artist-brain activity made sense to me. My "job" is filled with artist-brain activities, repetitive work that doesn't require concentration. I've always been good at daydreaming and trying on alternate lives. I sort out a lot of issues while I fold sheets. I think it's possible to put good or bad vibes in things such as fabric and food. The only food I know that benefits from anger is breadmaking, which I haven't done in a long time, but I routinely would bake a batch when I wanted to work through some anger; the worse you punish the dough, the greater the reward. Though I thought I wanted one, I quickly returned the bread machine I got. It removed the connection with the dough.

Right now my life is in moderate flux, and that seems to stifle my creativity except in the kitchen, but that's a good thing, since it will soon be Thanksgiving. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Detective Work Exercise

I enjoyed everyone's postings so much I had to do one of my own:


1. My favorite childhood toy was a doll, Thumbelina. I bought real newborn clothes for her at thrift stores, and diapered her with cloth diapers.

I took her to Brazil and one of my aunts fell in love with her, and so I let her have it for many years until I had daughters of my own, and then I asked for her back. The quilt she has is my feeble attempt at hand quilting, and I downloaded instructions to crochet her a cap because her stockingnette (from my OR days) is just to hide the condition of her hair. She's also missing the winding key that made her move like a real baby. Working for a year as a medical assistant in a crazy pediatric practice made me lose my fascination with babies.

2. My favorite childhood game was "buraco," which means hole in Portuguese and I'm told it is similar to canasta. I could usually beat my grandparents at it.

3. The best movie I ever saw as a kid was Sleeping Beauty as a young child in Brazil. I also loved the Sound of Music.

4. I don't do it much but I enjoy swimming. It would have to be much warmer water than when I used to swim in Lake Tahoe.

5. If I could lighten up a little, I'd let myself dance more. It usually takes a few glasses of wine.

6. If it weren't too late I would go back to school.

7. My favorite musical instrument is percussion...drums of all kinds, but that was really hard to answer.

8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is however much I want to. I don't have a problem treating myself.

9. If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy her some day of the dead fabric.

10. Taking time out for myself is necessary to survival.

11. I am afraid that if I start dreaming I'll never get anything done.

12. I secretly enjoy reading People magazines, wherever I can. The first time I read this I couldn't think of anything that I secretly enjoyed until I read Gemia's confession. I suppose it's kind of tacky to be interested in the lives of the rich and famous.

13. If I had had a perfect childhood I'd have grown up to be me still, because I think a lot of who I am is the product of nature instead of nurture...and I was well nurtured.

14. If it didn't sound so crazy, I'd write a book about my life.

15. My parents think artists are eccentric.

16. My God thinks artists are...well my god is just energy and I'd rather not tend towards anthropomorphism.

17. What makes me feel weird about this recovery is that I didn't know I was ill.

18. Learning to trust myself is probably easier now than ever before as I draw from previous successful life experiences. Trusting my artist is another matter altogether, as she doesn't have a bank of successes.

19. My most cheer-me-up music is varied and loud. Currently I'm hooked on Keane. My younger daughter turned me on to them. And also Coldplay.

20. My favorite way to dress is jeans. I have a denim skirt and dress for when I need to dress up! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Week 2 Check-In

Wow, in checking dates, I did morning pages 7 out of 7 days. I had so many artist's dates, that I don't know if I remember them all. One I do remember and consider it such was having my husband haul our spotting scope to the "island" (really a penninsula) at Roper Lake State Park to check out a Great Horned Owl that was roosting in a Palm tree. I haven't used the scope much since I haven't had the opportunity to do a lot of long distance birding, but it was cool to see the owl seem so close, stretching and blinking. I am so good at paying attention, especially to the natural beauty surrounding me.

At this point in my life I don't have poisonous playmates. I've learned to say NO! One crazymaker in my life, my dad, moved back to Brazil after my mom passed away, and so he only makes me crazy during his yearly visit which is brief, and I know how to ignore him. When he lived here, he's a in your face kind of person, and therefore harder to bear.

I haven't been very good about the tasks at the end of the chapter. A lot of them didn't apply since I was on vacation, such as where does your time go. On vacation, my time didn't go anywhere I didn't want it to. I pretty much enjoy the 20 things I listed, frequently. No need to make an effort to do them. Even back at work and the mundane details of running a motel are moderately enjoyable. I like doing laundry, the repetitiveness of folding sheets, making up beds leaves a lot of time for my mind to wander and daydream.

One of the changes on my list of Ten Tiny Changes is to manage my eating and exercise better, and I was able to work on that on vacation. I have dieted most of my adult life. At 18 I weighed 119 lbs. on a 5'4" frame but I bought into the skinny propaganda, and so thought I was fat because I carried my weight in my hips and legs. I approached this weight after my second daughter, without working at it, but wasn't smart enough to stay there. Breast feeding helps overcome the tendency I have to consume more than I expend. Add some years, hypothyroid slowed metabolism, and smoking cessation, and I am overweight to the point that it is affecting my health. Just before I left on vacation, I discovered that my previously low blood pressure had crept up. I stopped the daily NSAID I was taking for arthritis in my hands, and started changing my eating habits. I am not on a diet! The mere mention of that word sets me up to binge, and I'm not doing this to wear smaller sized clothes, which still lurk in my ever optimistic closet. Small changes on vacation had big payoffs. I lost about 5 pounds over two weeks, and my BP is getting better. I didn't suffer at all with my small changes, and haven't felt the need to eat every bad, illegal food in sight since I'm not going to deny myself anything. I also didn't look upon my vacation as a license for over-consumption. Let's hope I can keep it up. I also got a lot more exercise, hiking and biking. Came back to 22 degrees yesterday morning, and I need to buy a stationary bike pretty soon since the Gazelle was just not it for me.

I need to get to work--playing catch up the last few days, but I'll post again soon.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Better late than never...

So here is my week 1 check-in. The morning pages are pretty easy, but I'm not going to get up a half hour earlier. I usually am awake between 4 and 5 a.m., and I have plenty of early morning time to write them. If however I don't get my alone time...then the morning pages bite the dust.

Most of the tasks didn't appeal to me much. I really bristled at the one about imaginary lives, and when I shared this part with my husband, he pinpointed the problem right away. They are all jobs. At this point in my life I'm aware that although some of the jobs seem exciting, they are still jobs. My imaginary life would be to be retired in a wonderful setting in NM, in a wonderful setting in Brasil, in a wonderful setting in AZ. The operative word is "retired." My imaginary life would be a retiree! I can't think of anything more fun. And I guess I've been doing it this week as we travelled in our trailer.

Hope this suffices for week 1. I'm at Pat's now, and I've been hogging her computer as it is.