Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It is all about Gratitude and Perspective while standing in a pile of Manure surrounded by fans......

the first of november i brought a decorative jar to the kitchen table and planned to have our family write things they were grateful for on a piece of paper and put it in the jar.   that never happened.   life happened and i felt as though i did not have a thing to write down and place in the jar that day.  we seem to be in survival mode every day, and that does not allow a lot of room to think of much else.

 after that the jar was pushed aside.   yesterday i looked at it and thought that i needed to put it back downstairs....maybe next year.   

not only are things still hard here for our family, but my sister and her family are walking through their own hell and yesterday just as my sister had picked her self up from the latest bit of life and dusted her self off,  the rug was yanked from under her yet again.   i sat up last night feeling all the ick i knew she was feeling.   i know these feelings.   i have felt them and the wounds have not yet started to heal.   i wish i could do more for her, i wish i could say hey look, see it will get better....but we are not at that point in our journey as of today.

every day i give thanks from the moment i step out of bed. it has become habit.   some days though the gratitude seems empty and i feel like i am going through the motions.    

eight or ten years ago i began a shift.   i decided to take notice of those things in me i wanted to change.   it has been quite a journey.   it seems i have taken the scenic route and detours, but i can say that i can look back and see progress and change for the better.   

this morning as i was doing laundry i thought to myself how it never seems to end.   the clothes in the laundry basket multiply like bunnies.   but i caught myself giving thanks.   i am so grateful that i have laundry, tons of it....because that means there are people i love that live in our home that dirty the laundry, use the towels, wear the endless pairs of socks.  i am so very grateful that i have a working washer and dryer.   i have spent many months at the laundry mat, and just last week the belt and pully broke on our dryer.   i am so thankful my hubby knew how to fix it.    that stack of dirty dishes in the sink means we had food to eat.  if you know me, you know food has been a luxury the last few years for our family.   i realized i had given thanks without having to think about it.    i began thinking of the long list of things we don't have, as well as what we do have.  for everything i thought of we did not have, i made myself think of what we do might not be what we want, but we have.  

our carpet needs to be ripped out and replaced, it is awful....i want hard wood floors, but i don't have to vacuum the ugly, nasty carpet, i get to.  perspective.   

on the days the menieres beast is kicking my butt and i struggle with cooking, cleaning, arting....i give thanks that i am GETTING to do those things.    again, perspective. 

as i was taking photos of some mind numbing, yet soothing zentangling i had done yesterday i was amazed how the image changed as i turned my drawing pad.   it was all perspective.   i turn the drawing pad one way there seems to be valleys, turn it another way and you see the hills, or mountains.   

at this angle i see a down hill walk through valleys.......

at this angle i see an uphill struggle with lots of hills and mountains.

today i used the same technique as last night while zentangling, but today i wanted to try to manipulate the lines in to certain patterns or shapes.   i found that as i added more and more lines i was not able to force the lines to go where i wanted them to....they followed the path of the line before it.   each line i added was an echo of the previous line.  it began to drive me nuts,  i could not force the pattern.   if i wanted to make a big change in direction i had to pick the pen up and start a new series of lines.   all of the sudden all of the self help gurus, pastors, preachers and teachers.....what they had been saying made sense in such a visual way.   there are times in life we need to stop fighting the direction we want to go in, stop trying to swim upstream against the current,  and let go, let God take care of it, and at the same time we have to quit making some of  the same choices we have in the past that have not been beneficial to us.  we need to pick up the pen and turn in another direction.   

monday my daughter informed me she needed to make 60 mini pie crusts for the littles at the elementary school she works at.   even though she has watched me make pie crust since she was a little her self, she asked about the ingredients and if it would be hard.    yesterday she went and bought the supplies and we, i, began making the pie crusts. 

 i had to give up what i had planned to do yesterday to help her with this.   while i was working on this i had been silently giving thanks.  i was thankful she wanted my help, that she enjoyed working with me on this, that she was alive and well.  we almost lost her last january when she became septic after an out patient procedure in the e.r. .  at one point in the evening she apologized to me and i asked her for what?   she felt bad i was doing this for her.   i told her i loved being able to do this....someday soon she will be on her own, living her own life and i will miss this.   she told me she would be mad if she had to give up her evening to do something like this.    it is all about perspective...and gratitude.    

there are days when i feel like i am standing in a pile a manure surrounded by fans....and it is hitting those fans fast and hard and i really am up to here with gratitude and perspective and i feel like i am losing faith because that other better door has not yet feels kind of sucky and hard.   i go find my quiet, dark place and cry and then pick myself up and dust myself off and know that things are getting better and someday, when i get to the other side of all of this yuck, when i can look at my life from a different perspective i will see what it was all about and see why things happened the way it did....and for that i am grateful.   

i have discovered the most about me, the way i feel, think, process life through zentangling.   i do so many forms of art, but this one has taught me the most about me.   for that i am so very grateful.   

here are a few pics of my zentangle line therapy i have done over the last couple of days....

my hope for each and every person out there is not that they have something to be grateful for, but that they can see what they have to be grateful for.   

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

rainy day play

today was such was classic autumn rainy day.   i love days like these.   the smell of the wet earth and freshly fallen leaves.   just the right amount of chill in the air.  

i spent the day taking photos of items to add back to the etsy shop and managed to forget to take even one single photo of all things autumn right outside my window.  

my intentions were to work in my studio a bit, take photos for another bit and then edit and add to the etsy shop so that i could get it up and going again, then post about it all.   the day moved slow, but time slipped by quickly.   never made it down to my studio.   it must be that rainy day chill in the air that made for an unintentional lazy day.  

debating on adding the items to the shop after dinner, and seeing as it is after 7, it would be past 10 before it would get done, or should i hold off until tomorrow morning.  not sure how it all works when it comes to where it lands in the feed and all.    i have over 100 items to add back in, plus new items as they are completed.   i had planned to add 3 -5 pieces a day and new items as completed, but i am thinking i may need to step it up a bit.  

it was a quiet day here.   not much going on.   it is suppose to rain for a couple more days with a chance of storms.  some happy thunder and lightning would make this girl smile, not the stuff we got on may 31st.   before i head off to play chef i will share a few of the photos i took today of what will be in the etsy shop.

hope you have a wonderful evening.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

my proof of angel love

these 3 glass containers hold feathers from my zebra and society finches.

  the glass container on the right holds a variety of feathers, all different sizes, shapes, colors and patterns.

the glass container on the left holds the special tail feathers from zebra finches that have hearts on them.   most zebra finch feathers have 2 - 3 stripes and it is usually in one of those stripes i have found my hearts, like these.....

i have treasured these special feathers and have thought about soldering each one between glass and making a necklace or bracelet out of the charms.

God, angels...they work in their own special way.    my normal daily routine is to clean the finch cage and give them new food and water, then i search the floor for good feathers to use in my art and i always hope to find a special one, then i vacuum.   it is amazing just how far from the cage the finch seeds and feathers travel.    today a series of events distracted me and before i knew it the hubby was home and we sat and watched the birds and tried to get a peek at the newest batch of babies.   before we knew it,  a couple of hours flew by...ha....get it....we were watching the birds and time flew....ok, funnier in my head....anyway.....i started to go get the full size vacuum to finally vacuum and i checked the floor, for a 2nd time today, for feathers and found nothing.   again i was distracted and next thing i knew i found myself cleaning the bathrooms and i use a small hand vac for them.  on the way to take the hand vac back to the laundry room i decided to hand vac the area around the bird cage instead of lugging out the big vacuum.   while bending over i thought to myself just how ridiculous i was being....this was more time consuming, and not a good idea considering i was bending over with the meniere's beast looming in the background, not to mention it was not doing the job....  as i turned to vacuum the dark corner between a table and the cage i saw 2 zebra finch feathers.....

i got down on my hands and knees to retrieve the two feathers and discovered a third.   i also discovered while on my hands i knees i need to wipe down my baseboards as well.   as i picked up the largest of the three feathers i saw a dot that i just knew was a heart.  i ran....uh, walked quickly, to grab my reading glasses and saw this.....

the most perfectly perfect heart.    last week while looking out of my kitchen window thinking of what was our life now and what i have hope and faith for our life in the future i asked that i be given a heart in a place or way i have not received one before.    today i had a serious case of the blahs i just could not shake and was trying to replace thoughts of the situation that caused the blahs with good thoughts and today that just was not working....just a wee bit later i found this.   this is my sign.   this is my proof.   this is my angel.   this became my joy and peace.

this particular feather is in the middle glass container.   in its own special place.

here is a bit more angel love i have received over the last couple of days...

a leaf while out shopping with my daughter friday night

a shadow on some folded laundry friday night

more laundry from friday nights

this chip from friday night

i usually take a few pictures of each heart i find just in case one turns out unfocused and in this case, when i uploaded them on to my computer this evening i found a small hole in the chip and guess what.....

another wee teeney heart.....

a super up close and blurry view of that small hearty hole on that hearty chip.

while making pumpkin bread....there are actually two hearts here.....i am too pooped to photo edit and draw circles...there is one up top and one at the bottom.

another heart in the batter mixing bowl

one in the batter after i poured it in the pan.

one in the bread after baking...this photo uploaded all distorted and i am not sure why.

see the heart 'fold' peeking out of the sweat jacket, again friday night.

there are 2 hearts, 1 right side up and 1 up side down.

dough for homemade pizza and cheese garlic bread.   i found 3 flour hearts on the dough, but i spared you the thrill of looking at 3 shots of pizza dough.

back side of cheese garlic bread

this wash cloth i found on a trip to the bathroom at 5:30am.   i only had 1 eye partially open, just enough to find my way....this proves how serious i am at trying to photograph these gifts!

found this piece of paper standing upright inside the nest that held a baby bird that fledged friday evening,  found this piece of paper this afternoon.

a hearty pale orange spot on kitty's leg.

these are just a few that i have photographed over the last few days.  there are twice as many more, but they need arrows and circles to help guide your way to see and this girl is getting pooped.
i don't usually receive quite this many every day, but i have noticed there are times when my angel knows i need to feel the love in a big way.

this is proof that life continues on beyond this world.   our loved ones are close by, we are loved and guided and protected.   i think i know who sends me these hearts, and when i get a rush of them i think i understand why, but i sure would love to know for sure.  someday  maybe i will get to meet theresa caputo and find out for sure.

i have lots more to talk about, so maybe tomorrow, especially since i hope to get back to blogging daily.