move forward, live fully, breathe deeply....

there are so many areas in our lives in which we can get stuck...drowning in things, worry, anxiety. Here is my journey to live simply, with the fantastic freedom of 'less is more' as my mantra.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Do You Listen to the little nudges of your Spirit?

Recently I read a post by a sweet friend...who seemed tired. She just wanted to have a pj-day...her little boy asked her to get dressed so she wouldn't be Hobo Mom...they say that "out of the mouth of babes comes wisdom"...well! That little prompt about Hobo Mom may not have been wisdom, but it definitely was an eye opener!!

I felt compelled to ask a group of friends to pray for this mom.  That she would find balance, rest, and take some time for herself.  This was a few weeks ago....and I was reading her post tonite and it seems she so needed prayers...and rest...and healing.

I'm glad I listened and acted on that little nudge inside of me.  And am doing so right now as well.  In taking my mind off of my own struggles and physical difficulties I am able to focus on someone else's needs...hoping and believing that my prayers are being answered.

I really think we should all get back to being aware of others and do what we can to help... this world has been in selfish mode too long.  Take the blinders off.  See the need and then without expectation or compensation.  You'll find you'll be happier. More free. Able to leap tall buildings! (Just kidding!...that's Superman!) Give it a go!


Monday, August 27, 2012

What sits in front of me!!

This is my personal bead mix...I am going to try to recreate a necklace similar to the one that I gave to a lovely lady who just seemed to need a blessing the other day!...
 Let's see what kind of a creation I can come up with.  As I put the beads together, I will be praying for some of my friends who are sick, who are lonely, who are struggling, who might be in harms way...and also for the Gulf Coast, that this weather will dissipate before reaching land.  Maybe that's why I pulled a lot of blues? The color blue always seems to soothe me.  It makes me feel more peaceful.
                                 Here's what I came up with:
 Well, it ended up somewhat similar...but a little different. (Of course I forgot to take a picture of the original! ...lesson learned!)  That is just fine though. It was what the recipient needed in the moment!! 

I think I like how this new piece turned out!! Isn't this a better outcome for me personally?! There are reminders of calm, of peace, of wisdom...there are mixes of cold metal with warm, soft leather. Mostly, this will be my reminder to pray much...speak less...give of my time...and to remember to be thankful for those who touch my life for moments or for years. 

Try to remember, that even when things look like a mess when it's all piled in one place....
It might be even more beautiful than you can imagine.

~Bee Fruitful.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Get Low, a movie with Robert Duval, is playing on the television tonight.  I happened across it as I was channel surfing...trying to find something to dull my senses so that I can fall asleep soon. 

Listening to Robert Duval's voice, seeing the scenery in the film of country lanes with trees on both sides of a lane...leading up to a cottage way out in the middle of nowhere...reminds me of my step-dad Dan.  I used to call him Dan'l Boone.

 He was a good ol' boy from East Texas.  Had about 30 acres of wooded property outside a little town.  I remember working on the fence rows -- clearing brush on hot summer days.  Helping nail corrugated  metal to beams that would become a barn....then climbing on the roof and tarring the seams so that the rain wouldn't flow like a river through them.

I miss that 'Old Goat' of my other nicknames for Dan.  I miss working on that property.....digging post holes...hammering in 'u-nails' (my name for the u-shaped nails we used to attach the barbed wire to the fence posts when enclosing the horse and mule stalls Dan and his brother Gene laughed loud and hard over that!)...I miss playing cards with Dan, my momma, Gene, and his wife Norma...It's the closest thing to family and roots for me (not including my husband's extended family or our 'adopted' family).  I miss Texas. 

Dan's brother Gene passed away yesterday. His nickname was sometimes 'Old Goat' too...He always smiled when I called him that.  Gene used to try to teach me sign language for 'old goat'...He had significant hearing loss and was always learning new sign.  Little did I know that someday my ears would go bad and I could use those skills also someday!!  I guess that's where the nostalgia is hitting me hard right now.  The music from the movie, the scenery, the euphemisms, the way the people speak...and Robert Duval--Dan and Gene are so like Robert Duval's character.  I'm sad that another life has passed on.  If I hold on to the hope and faith that there is heaven, I can remember Dan, Gene, and Norma without too much pain.  I am thankful for the time we had as family.  I am thankful for the banter, the card playing, the smiles...the hard work.  I am thankful for belonging.

The movie, Get Low , is about a hermit seeking forgiveness.  About a forbidden love that ended badly.  About dying with dignity.  

So nostalgia..quit me.  Let me go...unless it's happy memories that you are bringing me..No regrets, no hiding out.  Let me have peace...and beautiful memories.


 Nostalgia describes a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations...I wish that all my memories were happy...however, they aren' most folks, I have ghosts...I will choose to remember the beauty and the smiles though.  


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weathering the Summer...

This summer started out so pleasant! The area in Oklahoma I live in looked unusually green on the hilly ranges where the Army's Field Artillery practice their skills...In my memory I usually think of those ranges as yellowed, brown areas with a blip of green here or there...So this summer, when all around me was a verdant vista..I was growing beautiful plants and flowers in my potted was a lovely gift to behold.

Then came July...and record heat waves of 100F+ for weeks on end!!  The pavement was steaming all the leaves in my potted even watering did not save their leaves and blooms from damage...

I have been holding on to the hope that if I can just keep the roots alive, by the end of August (a few short weeks away!!!) perhaps the plants can give it another try...resume their loveliness...

It reminds me of my path lately....I have been struggling with physical issues that limit my mobility and interfere with a decent night's sleep.  It can drain my motivation and eagerness to grow and participate in daily life...Though it saps my strength and resolve...I am holding on.  Waiting for a reprieve in the intensity of the present wave....until rest, and proper nurturing can help me move in the right direction.

Until the heat wave ends...I will continue to nurture my plants as best as I can.  Hoping that they can survive this little 'yuck' in time...and as I do for them, I will choose to nurture my body too.  I sometimes find it easier to take care of others while ignoring my own lately, I have been making the choice to pay attention and take care of this body I have been I can bloom again.   Until then...

                                                  Take the time to take care of yourself.  
                                                                      You matter.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

On Criticism.....

What if someone you trusted was brave enough to tell you the truth as they saw it...about you. about something that they think is troublesome? that may be hurting you? or them? or both?

I have always treasured the friends that have dared to tell me the truth.  I don't always agree with what they say, but if they are honest and frank with me, I honor and love that there is sharing.

Sometimes, I can be objective and look at words.  If it is something that I can change to make myself a better me, I usually do.  If it is a gentling of my delivery...because sometimes words are delivered more harshly than I would like when I am feeling poorly, or exhausted...then I can regroup and try again.

Sometimes, unfortunately, I react like a scared little girl...even though I'm in my early 50's, when what is presented feels damning....sometimes I  pout...anger blinding me for a little while...
Sometimes, I hide myself away, buffering myself from pain and self-deprecation.  From inadequacy and judgement.

Given a little time...and introspection...I can usually figure out if it is something which I can accept to help me be a better me...or if it is something that I can agree to disagree on...though sometimes it's a bit harder to leave things behind...(like the trash you see blowing along the roadside)...if it feels like it is a slap instead of a hug (said with malice instead of love...).

I found this poem which sums up how I feel about criticism and how it is delivered...Something that I will try to read daily, so that even in the midst of fatigue I can remember to always, always:

Speak Gently

Speak gently! -- It is better far
To rule by love, than fear --
Speak gently -- let not harsh words mar
The good we might do here!

Speak gently! -- Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind;
And gently Friendship's accents flow;
Affection's voice is kind.

Speak gently to the little child!
Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild: --
It may not long remain.

Speak gently to the young, for they
Will have enough to bear --
Pass through this life as best they may,
'T is full of anxious care!

Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the care-worn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
Let such in peace depart!

Speak gently, kindly, to the poor;
Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word!

Speak gently to the erring -- know,
They may have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
Oh, win them back again!

Speak gently! -- He who gave his life
To bend man's stubborn will,
When elements were in fierce strife,
Said to them, 'Peace, be still.'

Speak gently! -- 't is a little thing
Dropped in the heart's deep well;
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.

David Bates

So let me remember to 
Speak gently.  
Love much. 
 Be kind.  

....and to do All things with love...
Hoping you have gentleness in your day,


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Courage, little bird...

      Sitting, squirming, looking around
I see twigs and walls,
  feathers and tufts of whatnot
         enclosing me -- hiding all that 
I am.

Growing daily into my feathered self
Trying to climb out of the constraints
That hold me in old patterns
I cannot unfold my wings fully...

   Wiggling about ...oh! I have feet!!
Still unable to pull myself to the rim..the edge.
To join the world without
Yearning to fly...

 Finally!  Freedom is almost mine!
Sitting, squirming, looking around.
How do I get to that distant goal?

Leap? Fall? Fly? Fail? Soar?

Twigs and walls, feathers and tufts abound
Enclosure pulling me back
Into patterns and nests surrounded by fear...
Or do I leap into the unknown?


Friday, May 11, 2012

Little Gifts...

 There are so many butterflies, and moths, and general flying insects outside that every time I open the front door there is a greeting of whirlwind fluttering wings...It can be overwhelming! I don't want the moths inside--hiding in the drapes or frantically beating their wings against a light bulb turned on. Somehow, I get as many as possible shoo-ed outside...and the sunlight reveals to me little gifts if I slow down enough to notice them.
a half-dead bush, but the prettiest butterfly finds what it needs..
All about my yard there are dead trees....leftovers from ice storms and droughts in the past 5 years.  I used to joke about them, talking about my "Camp-Dead-Tree-on-the-Fort"...thought that I would make a yearly party celebrating spring or summer around them...(I am one for great ideas, not always making them come to fruition!) somehow, I let life get in the way...really, I let myself get in the way...
overgrown, dead tree...not so pretty to look at!
 I forgot to look for all of the little gifts which surround me and pop up every day.
 Whether or not I feel well.  
Whether or not I am fighting depression.  
Whether or not I am thankful.  
Always there.  
 All I have to do is claim the gift.  
Honor it and the One who sent it, created it, 
                                       (to show that every little detail in my life matters!!)... 

Among the grey, unencumbered branches and limbs...a dead tree shows me I am loved. That all I have to do is open my eyes...accept the gift(s)!!....then turn around and give the little reminder to whoever needs it...and we ALL need it, don't we?

The joy I feel when I find a heart...formed from rock, wood, unexpected piece of cast-off detritus...makes me so thankful.  Therein lies the crux...being thankful!! If I reside in gratitude and joy, there will be no room for low-ness..or focus on pain..  

Sharing my gifts, whether it's pointing out God-given reminders of love, or encouragement through words, poetry, art, laughter, or hugs is my path.  
To wholeness. 
To joy.  
To peace.  
Those are my sincerest wishes for you too!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

after-math of the weekend's yard sale...

I'm slower than I used to be...slower than I'd like to be...recovery from our yard-sale last Saturday is not progressing as much as I'd like...
My home looks like a whirlwind has hit unexpectedly and strewn all matter of items about.  No rhyme. No reason. Just piles dropped on a whim......

this is just a sampling...In every room..there lies piles of stuff.......
more than i need.  more than i want at this point in my life...

It's a cool gray day...the light is muted. the wind is gentle, but almost with a chill.  Sort of fits my mood today.  I am thankful for the 'dialed low' i have a bit of an ache-y head, and my knee is it feels like maybe i have permission to wrap up in a woobie...(cozy blanket)...and take a few minutes 'off'...and gather my strength to get back to my long long task list! 

The truth (TRUTH) is: most likely I'm procrastinating .... I'm supposed to be working on my art...and some jewelry...and supposed to be jotting in my journal for my diabetes appt.   By allowing the clutter, it distracts me from producing the things that will make a difference to my health and my spirit...hmmm....sounds like I need to get to it!  Throw off the bow lines!!!! (get out of the woobie)...Sail forth!!! into my life today!! (get to the good stuff girlie!!)

Sailing, sailing....into the ocean blue of living.....

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I am overwhelmed...

I am overwhelmed.
unexpected gray visits
in the morning mists of
surprise endings.

I am not ready yet..
momentum dallies forth
making decisions for my life
hard and heavy.

My spirit is above
looking down on shattered
torn and broken vessels
scattered about

Death is no friend.
but high above in aerie hearts
music holds me close
please hold me close.

...a new, very sweet friend has recently suffered a terrible loss.  I am overwhelmed with sadness and concern, wanting to comfort and hold her while she is having to bear this pain.  While she does have close friends and family nearby, it is still a difficult thing not to be able to be present. To hug her.  I just needed to express my thoughts...and hope that she knows that there are prayers being lifted for her and her family.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Home again...home again..

My legs are creak-y today! So funny how driving in a car can get you so sore.  I can't imagine riding a horse through Texas...or on a buckboard.  Those were lovely conveniences of 100 years ago... thank goodness!!  Fun for a bit, but I'm glad it didn't take me two weeks on horseback to get to this retreat!

 I have just returned from Vivi Magoo presents Art Retreat on the Prairie.  What a lovely jewelry-making event! I took several classes from Deryn Mentok and one class from Diane Cooke...worth the drive? OH Yes!!
It was so much fun! I learned an incredible amount of little 'attention to detail' that makes a jewelry piece 'art'. 

 The retreat was at Rachel Ashwell's 'The Prairie' in Round Top, TX.  Such a lovely, secluded, peaceful site!  It was like going home.  My cottage looked like it was straight out of "Petticoat Junction" with a cistern looking like it would topple over any second! I stayed in the Bluebonnet Barn...though it had nothing to do with barn! Think shabby chic...think comfortable...think relax...

                  After getting home...and unpacking a little...I worked outside and put together an old iron baby crib painted white.  I have to figure out how to make a support for the seat so I don't fall through it!  But I'm looking to find a little bit of the shabby chic retreat right in my own backyard....when I get the wherewithal together I'll post pics...

....until's hoping that everyone finds a little retreat that makes them feel wonderful...even if it's in your own backyard!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sometimes I over-commit!!!

It's 10am on a Monday task-list is very long...TOO long.  I've signed up for all of these wonderful online courses that teach me lovely skills which I can use to make my life and art more creative and beautiful...but what crazy mental process do I use when I 'jump in with both feet' so fast that I forget to hold my breathe????  Aaaaaaaagh!  Here's what I'm in the middle of:

Letter Love with Joanne Sharpe 
Artful Alphabets--Joanne Sharpe
The Note Swap -- ArtHouseCo-op
The Chronicle Project -- ArtHouseCo-op
The Self Portrait Project -- ArtHouseCo-op
the Art of Wild Abandonment -- through Christy Tomlinson with Junelle
art of Wild Abandonment..

the earring supply...
making jewelry to sell in Oklahoma City

setting up and selling on my etsy site :
a commissioned project for diabetes education
work 8 hrs on paperwork in Antique Store every week
.............................all of this AND this Weds I go to a 4 day jewelry course (where I know nobody!!)and I have yet to pack my clothing, tools, and supplies...

Rattlesnake Ready...
and not inclusive of every day taking care of life spirit, husband, health, home.

This can cause anxiety to say the least...of which I really do not want or need in my life.  Now, most of the art/projects i can do from the comfort of my home...and some courses last up to a year after the original that is a do-able thing...I just need an adjustment in my "jumping-in-first-without-thinking" button!!  

It really is okay to not be in the 'middle' of everything.  It's okay to not to give so much of yourself to everyone and everything else that there's nothing left but a shell...It's okay to notice the little things around spend an afternoon with someone you love walking through an obscure Rattlesnake festival where the rattlesnakes are in absentia!! I think we can always find ourselves when we slow down and empty ourselves...of obligations, of anxiety, of guilt...Take the okay.

Friday, March 9, 2012

the Sun is rising today!

After yesterday's blustery wet greyness..the SUN! has come out today!  Though the yard is still very wet...causing my Molly's feet to be encumbered with mud as she runs along the fence-line barking at the top of her lungs trying to engage the neighbor's dog, Lucky, into is still a beautiful morning.  A bit nippy! (we went from 70s to 44 degrees today!) 

I spent many hours working on a new endeavor yesterday...I started an online course:  Letter Love by Joanne Sharpe

First things's my practice notebook cover...

and a little art with the alphabet...the bright colors are because my knee hurts and I didn't want to go downstairs to get new colors!

I get lost in the doodling and the making of the's a process that takes some concentration as I would like to find a way to make the letters cohesive (Outlining hides a multitude of sins I find!) and in the posting of these pics to the blog...I'm learning how to shoot, upload, publish, and arrange photos AS I learn to blog.  
It's a pretty big challenge for me as I'm feeling like I need to go back to school and learn about how to use a computer properly!  There's happiness in the learning and finally accomplishing the task!

Here's hoping you find an endeavor that gives you joy and opens doors to learning new things!