A brief whine about the flu

I have it.

Sunday, after a trip to the library and supper at home, I settled in for a relaxing look thru my books and maybe a bit of television. Umm. Didn’t quite work out that way. To make an unpleasant story brief, a couple of hours into the evening, I decided I ought to spend the night on the bathroom floor.

Monday and Tuesday have past in a sort of haze. While no longer needing to camp on the bathroom floor, I’ve been wobbly and stuffy headed. Today I’m feeling comparatively spry – sitting upright for stretches of time and everything. I might get reckless and make myself scrambled eggs later. Much later.

Anyway, I must have subconsciously known this flu was about to hit: I unwittingly selected the perfect sick day reading from the library. I started with the always delightful Mma Ramotswe, The Colors of all the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith on Monday. (I’m a bit behind in the series. There are two more books after this one.) Tuesday I moved onto Kerry Greenwood’s Murder in the Dark. I am a fan of the Miss Fisher mystery series on Acorn, but I have never read the books. I grabbed this one at random and spent yesterday wrapped in afghans while immersed in Australia in 1928. I will definitely check out more Miss Fisher adventures. Today, I think I’ll move on to Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. I checked this one out because it is one of those books I thought I had read years ago but really never have.

I will leave you today with this old photo of Brandy. It is one of my favorites:

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Thanks for reading!

A full circle…decades in the making.

An epiphany.
Or perhaps more like a sudden realization.
Maybe just a stirring of memories.

Whatever. I’ll get on with it. But first a bit of my personal history, if you don’t mind……

I grew up surrounded with art supplies and books. On rainy days Mom would cover the dining room table (and the floor) with newspaper and bring out the watercolor paints and paper. PlayDough, my favorite, was permitted everywhere. The 64 Crayola crayon box – with built in sharpener – a hoarded treasure. I loved to draw, but at a certain age, (most likely early in grade school), I was told I “couldn’t draw”.

My love of books has stuck. (According to family lore, I had cloth books with me in my crib. It occurs to me perhaps I should have at least one book cremated with me. Bit morbid. Sorry.)

PlayDough morphed into polymer clay. My jewelry is on Etsy and I put up my tent at local shows. I also love making small animal totems, especially bunnies.

Drawing. All these years and never picked up pencil. Cause I couldn’t draw right? So now I’m taking this class I keep blathering about. I’ve had varied successes in class. I seemed determined to clench up and disappoint myself – knowing what I’ve brought to the table, pretty quickly done. So today I asked myself, “what inspired me to draw all those years ago?” Easy. Dr. Seuss. I still have my books:

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I have found my happy moment! What a good morning/afternoon!
Have a great day and thank you for reading!

I feel dazed…..

The songbirds have returned. Standing in my yard, listening to their celebrations of an early spring and eavesdropping on serenades to potential mates, I’m too grumpy (distracted?) to enjoy their glorious songs.

Those last couple of weeks of January were bit too rough, a little too much, I’m still processing events. I think I’ll just talk about one such event today.

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Our Brandy died ten days ago.
A ball of light and love wrapped in silky red hair
Brandy was our heart: sweet, silly, ornery, and little bossy
All gone.

Still youngish, never ill, she was gone in a flash.

Now, this is the part that in time will be a delight but is still a bit difficult: She died chasing a bunny. Seriously.

Dave said she was chasing the rabbit then stopped and then started running again. Her usual. (We had assumed her arthritic shoulder hampered her chases of late.). This time, however, she laid down and was gone.

Anything heart/brain/vascular could have happened. She was current with everything at the vet’s. I do believe it was simply ‘her time’. And what standard dachshund wouldn’t want their last act to be chasing a bunny? (Except for those who want to be noshing on a bit of something.).

All that being said does not make this easy.

I know we will heal. I know, given the time to process her dying, we will be fine. Not quite yet.

Pleasantries

Pleasantries. I love that word.
You run into someone at the grocery and you exchange pleasantries.
You meet an acquaintance for coffee – pleasantries.
A friend for lunch? First come the pleasantries.
The last couple of days, I have been fighting a nasty cold. I have avoided the news, the bills, the house cleaning, and instead focused on taking vitamins and resting (and reading). In short – living the pleasantries.
My head cold adverted, I’m up and functioning. No more pleasantries.
Drat.
I had high hopes for today. My WW purple would have kicked in showing a lovely loss. I would have finished my sketch from last night, (we started charcoal. Which I loved), over a very sensible breakfast. Then yoga, followed by shoe shopping. A short break for an espresso then blogging and clay. Wonderful. In short, the pleasantries tinted version of life.
The truth – –
Had nightmares. The dogs woke me up far too early for an emergency bathroom trip. Recycling didn’t pick up today. Dragged the full bin back into the garage. Realized I left my charcoal pencils in the classroom last night. Added too much black to my turquoise clay and created a sickly mud. The news…cant even go there. The icing on my cake? A text from my sister requiring a specific time to receive her phone call. I’d rather study current affairs.
Now, sitting at my kitchen table with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on TV, I am reminiscing about the pleasantries.
Well.
It’s still earlyish. Come what may. Thanks for reading. Today’s photo, bold reds and all:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/736696186/very-bold-and-beautiful-red-and-burgundy?ref=shop_home_active_23&frs=1

Bits and pieces

I can’t believe we are halfway thru January. Did it speed by or creep?

I always think I should be accomplishing great things. Constantly. Yes, I know it is illogical and impossible and I’m working on changing this mindset, but there you have it. Unreasonable expectations leading to a general dissatisfaction. Yep. Well, I have managed to teach myself to look at the stuff I did do/start/maintain.

One thing I am truly delighted about is my drawing class. After all these years of wanting to take a class, I am actually doing it! This inspired me to also buy Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I was able to do a couple of the exercises before my class last night. I was thrilled at my progress. Our assignment was to bring in a photo to draw. I brought a photo I took while on vacation a couple of years ago:

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I drew one duck:

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For me, last night was all about the duck. But I think I’m making real progress. Slowly but surely.

I seem to be spending all my emotional energy on my class, leaving little – if any – for my Etsy site. I tried to sit down several times to create a piece (or several!). Nope. Nothing new or exciting perking in my head. Maybe once I feel a little further along with drawing I’ll be able to focus on my clay. Still, the earrings I have been working on are almost done and looking good!

Sooooo I’m thinking that even tho I haven’t leapt any tall buildings in any number of bounds, maybe I have done alright so far this month. Yes. I think I have.

Update update

Today seems a bit, well, unreal. Or is it surreal. I’m awake, I’m moving and doing and have that sense of accomplishment but I don’t exactly know why. Hmm. I have done a couple of nice things in last couple of days tho….

My drawing class was lovely. My instructor spoke briefly about drawing, pencils, shading, and course objectives. And then she gestured to a table cluttered with random objects and said “get started”. Um. So we did. And she walked around talking about our drawings. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the class. Of course, the more practice the better. Haven’t drawn yet today but the day isn’t over.

Oooo….Today was weigh in day for Weight Watchers. I lost! All is right in the world again! (Heehee). Yesterday I tried the WW site’s questionnaire to see which program I would be sorted into (I suppose it is just me, but in my head I hear a tatty hat crying,”Better be Gryffindore!”). It was purple. Change is good.

Maybe it that’s it… The weight loss has given that feeling of accomplishment! That makes sense. Still, from my to do list: today I am to finish the two pairs of earrings on my work table and start on a large statement sort of necklace. I should do that. Right. Best get started.

I did get these earrings listed:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/754459022/large-black-and-gray-polymer-clay-dangle?ref=shop_home_active_1&frs=1

Off to work. Thank you for reading!

Tonight

Tonight I is my first drawing class. I’ve had spotty art lessons all my life, but I don’t remember a drawing lesson. So this is something very new for me. I’ve mentioned it before, but it is worth saying/writing again… I have a mental block about drawing. I’ve decided it is long past time to get past childhood bullies. Don’t know if I have any talent or potential, but I plan on having fun trying!

Today’s polymer clay piece:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/749196947/bold-shapes-and-textured-polymer-clay?ref=shop_home_active_27&frs=1

Thanks for reading! Wish me luck!

Books, WW Blue and more..

Oh Dear.

Three days into the new year and I’m floundering. “The best laid plans of mice and men”… etc etc…

One of my first areas of ‘needs improvement’ for this year was my book spending. A couple of yeas ago, I was a regular library goer. Once a week, like in my childhood, I selected my pile of books, (always one or two more than I could possibly read in a week), and contentedly read thru the days. I realized that I had completely fallen away from this positive habit. Not that I had stopped reading mind you, I just purchased the books. Of course, there is nothing wrong with buying books – within reason. A caveat I kinda forgot about.

With that in mind, I made a promise to myself – library. But then I remembered an author I have a dickens of a time trying to find – Ovidia Yu. A couple of years ago I read her first Aunty Lee mystery and haven’t found her since. Well. I found her yesterday. And reasonably priced.

Next on the list: WW weigh in. I weight in at home. Crud. Need I say more?

I did however, accomplish one thing on my list, I posted my latest earrings:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/752791736/deep-blue-dangle-earrings-polymer-clay?ref=shop_home_active_1&frs=1

Oh well, A little improvement is better than none.

Thank you for reading!

The long game

I, like everyone else, have all sorts of dreams, hopes and yes that dreaded word – resolutions – for 2020.

As lovely the idea of having a wand (or nose wiggle or blink) to enable all these changes and improvements to actualize, I know it won’t happen. I also know it is for the best. I get it. A life long learning experience hopefully of growth, courage, and more than occasional beauty.

To that end, I have started this year with a bit of yoga and meditation topped off with WW approved breakfast and lunch. Tomorrow I will shop for my pencils for my drawing course starting next week. I need to list a couple of pairs of earrings on Etsy. A bit of dusting and tidying at home. Laundry. Grocery shopping. Better pack up the decorations. Hmmm… A wand is sounding better and better….

Happy New Year everyone!

The day after

Some people will make New Years Eve/Day the Day(S) for a mini life review. Create and make/break oaths, commitments and resolutions. For me, that somewhat (or very) unpleasant/uncomfortable/despairing day is the day after Christmas. Yesterday, I was sucked down that rabbit hole. Somewhere in my journey I made the decision to do something different on this, my day after day. Something just for me: I signed up for a drawing course.

I’ve always wanted to take a drawing course. I’ve got this mental block about it – a kind of embarrassed childhood “they’ll make fun of me” sort of thing. Rather terrible when I think about where it can from; but it is a feeling that has been slumbering virtually unnoticed for a very long time. Well. Next month I start a very short night course, Foundations of Drawing, at my local community center. It is a start. And one I am proud of taking… a little gesture of bravery to end the year.

Thank you for reading and wish me luck!