Resolutions, 2018

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I was looking back at my posts from December, 2016, and January, 2017 to refresh my memory on what my New Year’s resolutions were. It looks like I didn’t make any.

I guess I figured that living in Costa Rica, I just had to embrace the “Pura Vida” (“Good Life”). And did I, boy, did I ever.

Now, back here in Minnesota, the temperature has been hovering around 0F (-18C) for about a week. The extended forecast shows the same temps, plus snow, for the next 5 days, at least.

Back to the Scandinavian Lutheran work ethic. Pura Vida does not apply. Resolutions required.

Resolution 1: Grow my hair out.

BED-HEAD, MESSY HAIR

HAIR

Resolution 1: Grow my hair out. Nah, too easy. Not enough suffering.

Resolution 1: Learn to use my Canon camera.

Camera, Canon Rebel DSLR

CANON REBEL

A little embarrassing, as this was on my resolution list in 2015 and I didn’t do a thing about it. I’m taking a really big trip in the fall of 2018, so I really, really, really want to be able to take some nice pix.

If I fail at this resolution again, I should sell the camera and all its accoutrements.

Resolution 2: Start an on-line Tarot business.

TAROT

TAROT

I read Tarot for friends and family for free, and have read professionally in the past. I hope I can develop a professional platform, so I can create an income stream. My remaining in the USA depends on supplementing my savings with some sort of income.

True, a Scandinavian Lutheran voice in my head is telling me to get a j-o-b (can’t say the word out loud, or it might happen!), but since my background is really German Catholic, I’m going to ignore it.

Resolution 3: Create beauty every day.

BED-HEAD, MESSY HAIR

SORRY, THAT WAS UNCALLED FOR

I am an artist. I am an artist. I am an artist! (My #1 daily affirmation.)

I’m not going to make any resolutions about my health. It’s a one-day at-a-time, wrestle-with-the-dragon kind of thing. Resolutions are not powerful enough to deal with this monster.

Do you have any ideas about eating/exercise commitments that are stronger than resolutions? Gastric bypass surgery? Weight-loss camp? Gulag? Hard labor? Do share.

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

Crazy Busy Week, and Cheese

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I had a crazy, busy week this week, with something scheduled every night after work. That kind of schedule makes me very, very crabby.

MONDAY :

After working 9 hours, I attended the first half of an 8 hour class, “Driving Now That You’re an Old Fart”. Actually, I believe it was called “Safe Driving For 55 Plus”, but you get the drift. You know all the things that annoy you about encountering oldsters on the road, like driving too slowly, leaving too much space between cars, slowing down for green lights, leaving turn signals on for miles? Those things are actually taught in this class.

TUESDAY:

Second half of “Decrepit Driving” class.

WEDNESDAY:

I had a chiropractor appointment scheduled, but I canceled it due to fatigue. Plus, it’s costing me LOTS of money to go in twice a week, and it doesn’t feel like it’s helping. No.2 Sis suggested Courage Center for physical therapy.

Anyway, I ran errands on Wednesday, including a $87 grocery store run. I was out of cheese.

THURSDAY:

My Stampin’ Up pusher, sorry, distributor, came to my workplace, The Company, and put on a SAS (Stamp-a-Stack). Me, a half-dozen co-workers, and several guests each made 15 Christmas cards. We also had a pot-luck dinner. I was in charge of set-up, tear-down, and lunch meat.

CHRISTMAS CARDS

FRIDAY:

Friday was my day off. No relief. I had an 8:30 lab appointment, for which I had to start fasting right after the Thursday potluck. No bedtime cheese snack. Harumph.

Then, at 10:30, I had a channeled reading from Chanda Parkinson. This was a gift from my BFF “G”, and it was very enlightening. Chanda told me I was spreading myself too thin. Oh wait, I knew that already. The rest of the info I got was truly enlightening. Thanks Chanda, and thanks “G”!

At 11:00, No.2 Sis came over to my house and helped me move all the small furniture into the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room, so the carpet cleaners could have a clear path.

Ultimate Carpet Cleaners came at noon, and did a wonderful job of cleaning my dirty carpets. I had had Stanley Steamer in not too long ago, and the carpet looked good for a day afterwards, but then reverted right back to its previous dirty state. Ultimate was much more impressive (and less expensive).

Plus we got these awesome shoe-booties.

CARPET PROTECTING BOOTIES

Sis and I put the small furniture back, with strips of plastic underneath to protect the wet carpet.

Then we gussied ourselves up, gassed up Gypsy Blue and drove across town to meet our Aunt and Uncle at No.3 Bro’s art show. We figured it would take us 45 minutes. In the rain and Friday night rush hour, it took us an hour-and-a-half. We missed Aunt and Uncle, but we got to see Bro, his girlfriend, his 2 sons, and his ex-wife. And, of course, Bro’s awesome paintings and the wonderful paintings of 2 other artists.

On the way home, I ran to the grocery store (cheese).

And now it’s Saturday. Now I can rest. And feast on cheese.

Stay tuned…

p.s. I shared this at Chic on a Shoestring.

Goodbye, Thelma and Louise?

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On Monday night, I got a phone call from my BFF “V”. She wanted to wish me good luck on my biopsy. “Or is it autopsy”, she asked. “I get those two words mixed up”.

It’s biopsy. I’m definitely not ready for an autopsy yet.

Last time, it was Louise with a suspicious spot. This time, Thelma was acting up. What? You know I named my car; you think I’m not going to name my breasts?

So I had the biopsy on Tuesday, and found out Wednesday that the tissue was cancer-free. That’s a relief, especially since my mother and my maternal grandmother died from breast cancer. I also have a sister and a niece who are breast cancer survivors.

I’m still agitated, though. I feel like I have two ticking time bombs strapped to my chest. I may have to take some preemptive action. More research is required.

After my mother survived her first bout of advanced breast cancer, I was surprised to see that her brush with death hadn’t seemed to change her. Where was her passion, her drive, her fight to live? I asked her what she wanted to do with whatever life she had left. She thought and thought, and after a few minutes she said, “I’ve always wanted to take a wildflower photography course”.

Soooo, no mention of her 9 children, or her many grandchildren. Okay, wildflower photography. The siblings and I bought her a nice camera that could be manually adjusted or entirely automatic. She never used it. She never took a photography course.

wildflowers

Now that I’ve had another cancer scare, the question I have to ask myself is the same. What do I want to do with whatever life I have left? I don’t have to think about the answer. I want to be an artist. I would say I am an artist, but I don’t really practice making art much at all. Kind of Mom-like, aren’t I?

It’s time to stop dreaming, and start doing!

Stay tuned…

 

Choosing a Career, Part 3

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The detox diet is going well, thanks for asking.

So after dropping out of art school and washing out as a waitress, literally washing out, I had to look back at my oh so useful career testing. I’d lost faith in the interest test after it revealed I was interested in being an artist, writer, musician or Merchant Marine officer. I looked at the test that questioned me about my work environment preferences, and dismissed those results. Assistant pastry chef. Not even head pastry chef. Harumph.

Ah, the Queen of career testing, the guidance counselor’s gold standard, the aptitude test. Let’s see, I showed a strong aptitude for Mechanical Engineering…or Chemical Engineering…or Electrical Engineering….or Facilities Engineering…or Aerospace Engineering… Okay, okay, you don’t have to beat me over the head with it.

I didn’t want to go to a four year college, because I was pretty sure that meant four more years of not being able to afford food, and food was kind of my main motivation to find a career. So I went down to the local technical institute and signed up for a two year Mechanical Drafting course. Engineering Lite.

And to my surprise, I did have an aptitude for it! I was tied for the top of the class, which I was none too modest about. I got a LOT of crap from the boys. It was not fun. I mean beating them was fun, but the harassment, not so much.

I couldn’t wait to get out of school, and I took the first job offer I got. It paid $4.50 per hour and I  jumped on it. The top guy got a job for $8.00 per hour, but whatever. $4.50 sounded like enough to buy groceries.

The supervisor interviewing me warned me that I’d be working with shop guys and manufacturing guys, and well, sometimes they can be a little crude or rough. I assured him that nothing could be worse than the way the guys at school treated me. I was right. I’ve never encountered that level of hostility again.

A couple of years later, I moved back to the big city, Minneapolis, because I could afford an apartment in a nice neighborhood AND food! I’ve been here ever since, and I’ve never looked back. Okay, I often look back, but the point is, I’ve had a good career. I’ve been a Mechanical Designer for 35 years, and I have less than 10 years until retirement. Then…. I’m going back to art school.

Stay tuned…

148

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I want to make Christmas cards!!! Of course, what else would I want to do when it’s 90 degrees and sunny? All through January, I’ll want to plant a garden. I’m a little troubled.

I went into my art studio, currently functioning as a very crowded storage room. I started emptying one box at a time, instead of tearing through everything looking for Christmas paper and stamps. I managed to collect 2 full bags, 1 partial bag, and 1 partial box, for donating. I also collected 1 bag of garbage and 2 bags of recycling. Ho, ho, ho. That’s 5 bags, if you’re counting, and I am. The partials will be counted only when they’re full.

I did happen upon some Christmas paper, but no stamps. Even though I’m sorting as I go, I’m not really putting things in their final resting place. Oh, that sounds bad. I mean, permanent home. I need more shelves, baskets and filing cabinets. Or less stuff. Lots less stuff.

But, I’m so addicted to Stampin’ Up stamps, papers and tools. I used to be a Stampin’ Up demonstrator, but I’m SOOO not a salesperson, and I’d apologize to people for wasting their valuable time, and I’d insist that they not buy anything, at least for my sake. I went broke pretty quickly. I still buy a lot, but I don’t have any monthly minimums to meet. Much better for all concerned.

So, even if I decide to get rid of some older stamping sets, I have a hard time just giving them to Goodwill. It’s an emotional thing, as well as a financial thing. The last couple of years I put a bunch of sets in a friend’s rummage sale, and I made $75 and $90. I figure that’s a win-win, as I get some money, and I know if people pay for them, they’ll give them a good home. Sort of like charging $25 for a kitten.

Anyway, the art studio is still not functional, but it’s getting easier to walk around in there. Progress continues. I haven’t updated the photos, because it’s just hard to tell the difference at this point. But I did want to leave you something to look at. You know how ottomans are for feet? Be careful at my house, because the ottoman is booby-trapped. Or should I say Bella-trapped?

Danger

Danger

Stay tuned…

 

71

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I wanted to tackle a little project in the art studio, so I decided to go through these three shelves. I picked them because they’re the only ones I can reach.  I was able to pack up 2 boxes of books to donate. There were some craft books on making jewelry with seed beads (too tedious), calligraphy (my BFF “T” is an excellent calligrapher if I ever need some lettering done) and some new age psychic yahoo books that are so low on my reading list that they’ve been wasting shelf space for years. The other books I got rid of were organizing books. They haven’t helped yet, in fact I find their presence damn annoying, so it’s time for them to go.

Before.

Before.

After.

After.

I kept most of my drawing and painting books, most of my jewelry making books, and a few tarot books. Not bad for about 15 minutes of work.

Stay tuned…

59

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No. 2 Sis came by today to help out with my de-hoarding. Of course, I wanted to rearrange furniture in the Queen bedroom and make it all pretty, even though my artwork project isn’t done (started) yet. Sis said “No, show me the studio”. Yikes. She is one of the few that has seen the art studio that I made from the second bedroom. It’s in rough shape.

In my defense, although I really don’t have to defend myself (I’m feeling a little defensive now), I have a lot of stuff in there that I inherited when my Dad passed on. My BFF “L” lost her Mom within 24 hours of Dad’s passing, so I inherited a lot of stuff from her too. But that was FIVE YEARS AGO! And I haven’t been able to use the room since.

North wall.

North wall.

South wall.

South wall.

No. 2 Sis and I spent hours upon hours sorting and packing things for Goodwill, the trash, and recycling. We got 15 bags and boxes out of there! I get a lot more done with No. 2 Sis there, as she is an amazing (dogged, stubborn, unflagging, never-say-die) taskmistress. I’m so grateful for her help! I’m also exhausted!

The after photo isn’t terribly impressive yet, but you’ll see the top layer of the south wall has been cleared, and though you can’t see it very well, a lot of stuff from the floor under the library table was cleared. You can kind of get an idea of how many hours have passed too, from the change in the light outside.

The beginning of the after.

The beginning of the after.

You know, after I admitted in my last post that I wasn’t the hostess with the most-est, No. 2 Sis reminded me I’m having a house guest all next week. You may be surprised that I’d forget that, but did I mention I’m exhausted? Why, oh why didn’t we clean the living, kitchen and dining room, where all my art projects and supplies have migrated over the last five years? I can always shut the door on the studio. I know what I’ll be doing after work every night this week. One thing at a time, one thing at a time, one thing at a time…..(trying to not get overwhelmed, this is the first time I’ve had a deadline). One thing at a time.

Stay tuned…

Work v. Play

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Aren’t I supposed to be feeling light and care-free with all this decluttering? Why am I so cranky? I used my entire year’s allotments of f-bombs at work today (under my breath,of course) and it’s still January. Here’s a philosophical question for you: If an f-bomb falls at work, but nobody hears it….oh, never mind.

Maybe I’m cranky because I didn’t eat much at all today so I have low blood sugar. Or maybe I’m cranky because I looked up Clutterer’s Anonymous. Why does the “Are you an alcoholic?” quiz have 12 questions and the “Are you a clutterer?” quiz have 25? Do we just have to have more of everything???

WOO-WOO ALERT (Tarot reading coming up):

Present situation: 10 of pentacles (wealth)

Whatever we sow, we shall reap 10 times over. There is abundance of all kinds in my life, but because I constantly doubt it, I fill my house up with material things that I don’t really  need or value.

Challenge: 9 of wands (preparation)

I have a very hard time laying a foundation and preparing ahead of time. I tend to jump into things half cocked. For example, I needed to change a light bulb but didn’t want to go to the garage and pull out the ladder. I had a rickety chair and a rickety footstool near the light fixture and I figured 2 rickety pieces of furniture equals one solid piece, right? So I put one foot on each wobbly piece, they each moved away from each other, and I did the splits and fell. I did not see that coming.

Path: prince of cups (creativity)

I need to take a young lover. No, no, no, that’s not what it means. I have been so sick of doing the decluttering in the bedroom, and I’ve been wanting to do some artwork for above the dresser, but I’ve been denying myself the pleasure until the work is all done. Maybe I need to indulge in some artwork, or should I say artplay? Then I can go back to the work part of this home make-over.

Outcome: The Star

Ah, sweet. The conscious self coming to know the sub-conscious self. Learning the truth about myself and my destiny. What a relief to see this card. It’s more than okay to play and express myself through my artplay, it’s an absolute necessity. Have fun girl, let your light shine!!!

Okay, I might have gotten a little carried away there.

Stay tuned…