Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve? Really?

This is an odd, odd time of the year.  Or at least it is for me.  So much pressure.  We've barely recovered from the trauma that is Pretty Tree Day -- the rushing, the shopping, the wrapping, the travel, and of course the crazy relatives -- and we're expected to figure out what we need to do to become perfect.  Starting at midnight.  And what if we forget to be perfect next Tuesday?  Well that's it.  Whole year down the drain.  Better luck in 2012.

I'm sorry, but I'm bowing out.

Not of having things that I want to accomplish next year, because there are a lot of them.  But I'm done being mean to myself.  I'm done with the idea that I have to do something every single day for the next 365 days to be able to call it a success.  So if I forget to moisturize next Tuesday, I'll just do it on Wednesday (or Thursday, lol), and forgive myself and move on and end the year with nicer skin than I have here at the beginning.

And if there are some things I don't get started on right away, that's okay too.  If some things on my list turn out to be lovely thoughts that absolutely refuse to be wedged into my actual life?  I'm going to let them go, at least for now.  Maybe I'll try again another time when my life is different.  

In short, I'm aiming for progress not perfection.  I'm aiming for gentle, flexible progress -- not the kind that gets you to your goal but you're crazed the whole time and exhausted and cranky when you finally get there.

Remind me of this when I forget, will you?

I wish you the 2011 that your heart most deeply desires.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday 12.29.10

Wow.  It seems like it has been forever since I've done Wishcasting Wednesday, but, as Charlie's mom notes in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, sometimes when adults say "forever" they mean a very, very long time.

Nevertheless, it is Wednesday and today the prompt is

What do you wish for the New Year?

It's probably breaking some Big Important Rule of the Universe to follow a kids' movie quote with a Godsmack quote, but I'm gonna do it anyway.  "I need Serenity"

That's my wish for the New Year.  Of course I have about a thousand and one things I'd love to accomplish in 2011.  But my deep need, and therefore my wish, is for serenity.

What do YOU wish for the New Year?

Monday, December 27, 2010

About the Book of Taryn

It seems that every time I mention my Book of Me on Twitter, at least two or three people ask what on earth it is.  Generally, I just refer them to this post at The Fluent Self, but today it occurred to me to ask @LaVonneEllis if she wanted the link or wanted to hear more about my personal Book of Me.  She wanted to hear about mine. Soooooo....  for LaVonne and everyone else who has wondered about it, here is a description:

The Book of Taryn is my guidebook to the proper care and feeding of the best version of myself.  It is a book of reminders of the things that I learn about myself (because I can't count the number of times I've forgotten that when I feel really, really run down, the only thing that helps is B12).

It's just a little baby book of me at the moment, but eventually I'll have an amazing resource that I sincerely hope I'll remember to read.

The front section of the bright pink Moleskine is for general information (like the aforementioned tidbit about the B12).  Then in the back, I've used sticky tabs to make sections for special lists.  Yes, bright pink.  Because I'm really gothy.  Except for all the pink stuff.

First, the Dammit List.  (You can read the posts that inspired this here and here.) This includes my non-negotiables. These are either so essential to who I am that I couldn't change them even for witness protection or so necessary for my health and happiness that I've drawn a line in the sand.  It has entries like:

  •  "Family gatherings require stompy boots.  And extra eyeliner.  Always.  Dammit."  
  •  "Yes, 95% of my clothes are black, and bats the way I like it.  Dammit."
  •  "No, as a matter of fact I don't have any 'normal' socks, and I wouldn't like any for my birthday, thank you very much."
Next is what was originally titled the Big Girl Panties list.  It has recently been renamed the Serenity List (as in "grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change") because I realized that the former title reminded me too much of something my mother would say and therefore made me grumpy.  It obviously contains notes about things that are not within my power to change, like the fact that my mother is the Queen of the Guilt Trip and an aunt is the head Drama Queen.  They are 75 and 85.  I see no legitimate possibility that they might change, and even if they do, it isn't something that I can make happen.

The List of Lies recently got its first entry.  I knew I needed one, but Lies can be tough to recognize because, well, it's stuff I believe.  Thanks again to @NaturalWrite and @AEIGratitude for helping me realize that my uncoolness was a Lie.  Each entry in this section includes the Lie, who sez, and the evidence for the defense (in this case, evidence that I am in fact reasonably cool).

I have a tab made for a Purple Kangaroo List, but haven't worked on it yet.  You can read about purple kangaroos here on the Owning Pink site.

And now that I think about it, I need a soundtrack section and a space for quotes and mottos (like "Redheads.  Totally worth the challenge!")

So that's my Book of Me.  Questions?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Better Living through Twitter

Wait, what?

Ok, I'll understand if you look at the title of this post, decide that I'm bat shit crazy, and leave.  But I hope you won't until you've read the very cool story of how Twitter changed two lives last night.

It all started very innocently.  I checked my followers list for people to follow back.  I noticed Twitter's 'Similar to You" list and took a look.  Surprised by the fabulous company they placed me in, I tweeted "Just checked out my "similar to you" list. Wow. Twitter thinks I'm way cooler than I really am!"  

@NaturalWrite promptly replied that I had it all backwards -- That Twitter knows I'm cooler than I think I am.  And then @AEIGratitude tweeted that she was calling Bullshit on the idea that I'm not cool.  These are people whose opinions I've come to value.  

So, for some reason, rather than following my normal MO of dismissing compliments with the thought, “oh, they're just being nice,” I looked around at my life. Ok, I don't have it all together yet. But in October, I bought a black glittery skeleton and dressed her in a tutu and a little fur jacket. I've learned to put beads in my hair. I know a thing or three about feng shui. Objectively, I think I have to say that I'm not completely UNcool.

And then I realized – it was the mean kids. You know the ones. The kids in school who say that you're ugly and your mom dresses you funny. They were still there. Mumble mumble years after Junior High, their voices were still in my head, convincing me that I'm a loser.

And that really pissed me off. How dare they live in my head, rent free, for mumble mumble years, poisoning my thoughts?

So I evicted them!

And I feel sooo much better!

Even more spectacular, @AEIGratitude decided that some voices in her head needed to go too.  So she fired them!

Is there a voice in YOUR head that needs an eviction notice (or a pink slip)?

Kick 'em out!

And I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Reverb 10 -- Four posts down, twenty-seven to go.

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

Hmmm....I don't think I did a very good job with that this year.  

*consults dictionary to try and get some ideas going*
1.  a person, thing, or event causing astonishment and admiration; marvel
2. the feeling aroused by something strange, unexpected, etc.
1.  to be filled with wonder; marvel
2. to have curiosity, sometimes mingled with doubt
to have curiosity or doubt about

I marveled at the beauty of several natural places this year -- the big cat rescue in Eureka, the trees and the wolf rescue in Olympia, the Old Mill

Strange, unexpected, curiosity mingled with doubt -- that pretty much describes my experience of the Crescent.  

I can't really say any of that was deliberate cultivation though, and I'm not sure I have a clear idea of how one would cultivate wonder.  Maybe some of the other reverb10 entries have good ideas.....

Friday, December 3, 2010


Day Three.  So far so good.

Today's prompt however seems to credit me with a better memory than I actually have.

December 3 – Moment.
Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
(Author: Ali Edwards)
The highlight of my year was a trip we took to Olympia, Washington in August.  I came back to life there.  I've been chasing that feeling ever since.
Maybe it was the ocean air.  Or the perfect weather.  Or being hours away from all responsibility.  Maybe it was the complete lack of any agenda.  Whatever it was, the trip was a magical experience. 
That's when I felt most alive this year.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Wherein Reverb 10 continues....

December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

Ok, truthfully?  Most of my day very, very effectively gets in the way of my writing. A usable answer to this question would require a time log.  And I'm not sure a time log done anytime in the month of December would be "normal" enough to help any.

Hmmm.....Is it true that I would have to record every second to get the right information?  Is it true that December is so radically abnormal that even attempting to answer this question would be an exercise in futility?  Or is this the work of Distraction Monster, It's Too Hard Monster, and You Don't Have Time Monster?

I suspect the latter.

Possible workarounds?

Work first on reducing known timesucks:  too much television, too much Facebook, too much Twitter, too many email lists that I don't read that just make finding the email I want harder, random unproductive Internet surfing, recreational shopping, etc.

There are only three shows a week that I absolutely demand that I get to keep.  Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and NCIS Los Angeles.  Everything else, I can either skip entirely, or just have it on while I do other stuff.

Facebook -- Probably need to weed out some of the stuff I follow.  My newsfeed has gotten overwhelming.  

Twitter -- Turn off the beeps.  Or just log out of TweetDeck entirely when I'm working.  Definitely stop leaving it up all day.  Ditto for the Facebook and the email.

Email -- Oh the email!  First, I have too many email addys.  Need to figure out what to do about that.   I'm also subscribed to way too many lists that I don't read.  Including a couple that have good information but I should delete them anyway because the gloom and doom approach rarely fails to stress me out.  It just isn't worth it anymore. (if you know of a POSITIVE source of feng shui information, please let me know in the comments!)

Random surfing -- Hmmmm....this one will be a real pickle because so much of what I read could be termed research for my Thing.  Maybe I could make a deal with myself to pick a particular number of articles a day that look the most helpful and actually really process and take notes and ID action items.  

Recreational shopping -- Stopping this would save time AND money.  Keep a running shopping list.  Try to do necessary errands during the week and start writing on Saturday mornings.

Make some fun reminders for all of the above.

Okay, all of that SOUNDS doable enough.  We'll see.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One Word

Hmmm.... It's been a minute.  Again.  Oops.  Maybe I'll get this blogging thing down eventually.

In a moment of uncharacteristic optimism, I signed up for #reverb10.  Their tag line is "reflect on this year & manifest what's next" which seemed like a productive thing to do.  So here we are....  The deal is, there will be a prompt every day this month, and we're supposed to write about it.  Today's prompt is:

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

Gah!  So much trouble choosing a word.  My first thought when I read the prompt early this morning was "incubation" for 2010 and "flowering" for 2011.  Through the day, other choices came to mind.  Cocoon and butterfly.  Percolate and, well, I don't actually remember what went with that one.  Blah, blah, blah.  Point of all of them being that 2010 has been a year in which I tossed a great many dreams into the crockpot of my brain, and I'm really really hoping that something yummy emerges from all of it in 2011.  

For the sake of having them go nicely together, I think I'll go with cocoon and butterfly.  Side bennie -- I was given a pair of butterfly earrings a few months ago.  I've never worn them because really, dragonflies are my insects.  Now I have a positive association for them.

Day one, mission accomplished.  30 more to go.

What are your words?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Seeking the Wolf

(this blog post best viewed while listening to Of Wolf and Man from Metallica Black)


I've had this song on repeat in my car for three days now.  This is unusual.  (Not the song-on repeat-for-days part.  The part where it is this song.  Usually if something from Metallica Black is on repeat, I'm off to Never Never Land with Enter Sandman.) On my way home today, I realized why.

I'm seeking the wolf.

While we were in Olympia, we toured Wolf Haven, a fabulous facility that provides care for captive-born wolves after people who thought it would be cool to have one for a pet realize they are in WAAAAY over their heads.

Our tour guide explained that it's not that it's really really hard to tame and train a wolf.  It's that it can't be done.  They get to be three-ish, and it's time to challenge the pack leader, and they just do what they were born to do, and the person is all surprised and asking, "Why did he turn on me?"

And that's the part of myself that I'm looking for.  The part that kindergarten and first grade and learning to raise my hand and color inside the lines could not tame and and could not train.

This is the part of me that married the man I was crazy in love with instead of taking my mother's advice and marrying for money.  This is the part of me that walked into the English Department of my university and changed my major from something much more practical to something that was more me.  This is the part of me that donated all my pastel colored clothing and threw out all my beige eyeshadow.  This is the part of me that saw my first pair of stompy boots and had to have them.

I know she is in there.  And I desperately need to speak with her.  I need her to tell me what I was born to do.  There is a pack leader I need to challenge, and I need to remember how to howl and how to growl.

So here I am, nose to the wind, with Metallica on repeat.  It's later than you realize.  Shapeshift!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nearly September? Really?

Wow how this year has flown!  I'm gearing up for a busy autumn.  Now that we are home from our super spectacular vacation to the fabulous city of Olympia, Washington, it is time to return to full-time status at Day Job.  And of course there is Halloween decorating to do!  I start as soon as the calendar strikes September!

It's my favorite holiday!

And then of course Thanksgiving and Christmas are right on Jack Skellington's heels.  Christmas means shopping.  Lots of shopping.  I always think it would be fun to make gifts and cards.  But autumn is the busiest time of year at Day Job, and I've never been organized enough to make it happen.  This year, I think I'm going to try to at least buy handmade for most people.

I'm getting two major projects going at Day Job.  They always seem Scary Monumental in the planning stages.  I always wonder how on earth I'll get everything done by deadline.  I try to take comfort in the fact that it always happens somehow-- even though it's never as perfect as I would like.  That never really helps though.  The Committee of Monsters is always there, whispering in my ear that this project is it.  This is my Waterloo, the one that will expose me for the Big Fat Fraud that I am.  Everyone will discover that I've been Beyond Incompetent this whole time, and they will point and laugh and throw things at me.  And DOOM!  DOOM!  DOOM!

It's their job.  They are very good at it.  I'm learning a lot about monsters from Havi and Selma at Fluent Self.

I notice that I'm totally rambling now, so I'll stop.

Have a sparkly day!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday 8.11.10

It's Wishcasting Wednesday again, and this week Jamie asks, "Where do you wish to send some love?"

This has been a hard one for me -- hence the not posting until almost 8pm.  I'm not sure why. 

I've finally come to the conclusion that it is okay to go with my first instinct on this, even at risk of this blog becoming a broken record.  See, right now, I'm just all about clearing space in my house.  I have space clearing on the brain.  This evening, LOML and I filled a hey-oooge bag with clothes to take to Goodwill.  And as we get all of the laundry caught up, I'm sure there will be more.

So my answer this week -- I wish to send love to my home, to the possessions that we truly care about (most of which need a good dusting), to our relationship (which will be more harmonious when the clutter is gone), and to the creative vision that I'm making space for.

What are you wishing for this week?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekly Intention 8.9.10

Oh, wow!  Will you look at the date -- all 8, 9, 10 right there in a row!  Coolness!

Anywho!  Today is Monday, and Monday is the day we do Weekly Intention at ABCcreativity!

Last week's intention of creating space for new dreams is going well albeit slowly.  Sorting through layers upon layers of "stuff" and deciding what to keep and what to release.  I have a reusable grocery bag full of books for the used bookstore.  Again.  And another little pile for Goodwill. 

One big sticking point so far has been guilt.  I have quite a few of those community cookbooks -- you know the ones -- everyone at church or in a club or whatever contributes recipes and they have it published and sell them as a fundraiser.  I don't use them.  I don't love them.  The only one I actually want to keep I want to keep not because of the recipes but because it was my grandmother's.  But they were gifts from my mom.  What I would like to do is send them off to work with LOML as a gift for his co-worker who collects cookbooks.  So far, mother's voice is in my head, guilting me into keeping them.

So, my intention for this week is Releasing.  Releasing more stuff, releasing inappropriate emotions, releasing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pics from Zen Thursday

I said I would take my camera to Day Job to get some pics of my newly happy desk.  And here they are.

This is the top of the filing cabinet to the left of the desk.  Under the fabric, that's the ugliest lamp in the history of the universe, but with the "modifications" I get tons of compliments on it.

Here is the desk itself.  It looks like I have no space left to work, but the desk is pretty deep, and my arms are short.  If I weren't using the space as living quarters for my assistants, I'd just have boring stuff like the stapler there.  That stuff can (and does) go in a drawer. 

A better view of Edgar's side of the desk.  The cup is turned funny, but it has The Scream on it, with the addition of a bright yellow thought bubble that says, "It's only a job, it's only a job, it's only a job."  A great reminder on those days when I'm losing my mind!

Edgar close up

Here is a shot of the velcro that attaches the detachable raven.  Pardon my Friday nailpolish.

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore!"

And this is LOML (love of my life) Drew.  I made the frame using instructions in Paint It Black by Voltaire.  I also made the big pink flower pushpins on the bulletin board.

 If I can figure out how to do static pages, I'll add a page that introduces my assistants.

So there is my workspace.  I'd love to see/hear how you cheer up your space.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Zen Thursday 8.5.2010

This is my first week participating in Zen Your Life at Goddess Leonie's blog.  Our mission is to get rid of everything on our desks that we don't use daily.

Now, I freely confess that my entire workspace at Day Job needs Zenning, but the top of the desk seems a doable project -- esp. since I had to clear it off just a few weeks ago when I was issued a new laptop.  The desk at home is another matter entirely, but I'll think about that when I get home.

I also confess that I expanded the definition of "use daily" to include things that make me smile daily.  Like my stuffed Edgar Allan Poe doll!  With detachable raven!

And I was unable to move my phone off my desk because the cord isn't long enough.  Oh well.

A bit of reorganization/redecorating has made the space feel fresh, and beginning my next set of projects in a few weeks seems more doable.

Onward and upward to the rest of the space.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday 8.4.10

This week, Jamie asks, "What do you wish for your creativity?"

Continuing this week's theme -- I wish for my creativity to have space to flourish.

When I did my Weekly Intention on Monday, I talked about clearing space in my home for new dreams.  Yesterday, Drew and I worked on the dining room.  Now, I'm sure this confession will deeply disappoint Mark Brunetz if he ever sees it, but I have no intention of  "restoring its function as a dining room" -- sorry!

We just aren't eat-dinner-at-the-table people.  We never have been.  Ever.  And since we have no human children to teach table manners, well, so be it.  (That should go on my Dammit List -- We don't use the dining table for eating dinner, and that's okay, dammit!)

It is however a large and lovely flat surface to use for art!  When it's free of other clutter.  And it is located near a large bookshelf that could be reclaimed for art books and supplies.

*rubs hands together gleefully*  I love it when a plan comes together!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekly Intention 8.2.10

Squee!  I just saw on FaceBook that Andrea has added a new weekly feature to ABCcreativity -- a weekly intention.  Read about it here --

It combines nicely with an idea that Jill Badonsky posted on her Kaizen-Muse page -- that our goals should sound FUN.

My discovery from this?  Sometimes it's all about the wording!  I need, need, need, to clean and declutter my home.  Does that sound fun?  No, clearly not.  Yet it is my goal, and it is something I want to do.  True, there is also an element of SHOULD and an element of social expectation and my mother's voice in my head saying, "This place is filthy!"  (For perspective -- my mother is a bit obsessive.  No matter how clean a room is, in her eyes, if she hasn't personally cleaned it, it's filthy.)

But I want to do it because I want space to pursue new dreams.  Right now, our home has no space for new dreams.  It is too packed with "stuff" for the energy to flow.  We have been slowly, gradually chipping away at the problem, but we have miles to go before we sleep in a clutter-free home.

Sooooo.....I present to you my Weekly Intention -- to create a vacuum so my dreams can whoosh in!

I dream of

  • art space
  • an organized office area for writing
  • a kitchen I can easily make healthy meals in
  • a living room where it is easy to exercise
  • a relaxing bedroom where it is easy to get a good night's sleep
  • a master bath that is a temple to Radical Self-Care  (see if you need the scoop!)
  • a home that supports my soul
This week, it is my intention to work toward that vision.

Monday, July 26, 2010

*walks in and starts dusting*

Wow!  I knew it had been awhile, but geez the dust is kinda thick in here!

Where have I been?  Wellll.....the last of April and the beginning of May were insane at Day Job trying to finish a slew of projects before I took some time off.  Then I had several weeks of vacation.  I am working on one project now and will go full time again in a few weeks.

I feel like a lot has been happening under the surface -- not visible yet, but there and percolating. I've dipped my toes in the waters of internet writing, and I'm making time to play with my art supplies more regularly.  Contemplating an Etsy shop, and already set up an account with the pink gargoyles name.

In other Dream News, I've found a couple of easy, healthy recipes that Drew and I both like and have more in the test queue.

We have plane tickets for that "real vacation" for next month -- Washington State!  Woo Hoo!

I made a FaceBook profile for my pen name, and my online support system for my dreams is growing. (Now I just have to figure out how to link it up with the blog here!)

I'm taking more pictures (and would take more if I had a camera small enough to carry with me more -- need to watch for a really good sale!).

That's me right now.  How have you been?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday (and A Visit from Jungle Woman)

This week's Wishcasting Wednesday question is What do you wish to dare?

I wish to dare to create an almost entirely different life.  My husband stays.  The furkids stay.  My best friend stays.  Several online friends stay.  But an extraordinary number of people, activities, and objects are up for contract renegotiation.

I should create a new Witness Protection list.  A cousin and I used to play a "what if" game.  The object was to determine what is so essential to who we are that we couldn't imagine changing it -- not even for witness protection.  For example, I'm not sure I could ever change my hair color -- "redhead" is part of my self-definition.  She decided she would rather take her chances with the bad guys than face a closet full of clothing from a particular well-known store at the mall.

In other news, I planted my patio container garden and a raised bed of strawberries this afternoon.  The container garden includes a Cowhorn pepper, which was one of my grandfather's favorites.  I don't remember those peppers specifically (he died when I was in fourth grade, a bit young for hot peppers), but I do remember the big cluster of five gallon buckets in his backyard.  Each one held a pepper plant of some sort.  He liked his peppers!  He was also the grower of the world's best strawberries.  I don't know what he did to them, but they were soooooo sweet.  One of the best memories of my childhood is sitting at the kitchen table with my grandmother rolling strawberries in a little bowl of sugar and eating them.

The herbs are still on the to do list, and Drew wants a raised bed for watermelons.  We're hoping to get to that this weekend.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Brainstorm Party Blog Post #1

Greetings!  Welcome to my Brainstorm Party!

Big changes are afoot at Day Job.  The what-this-means-for-me of it all is this:  I need to transition to What's Next sooner rather than later.  If the current transition timetable holds, I can squeeze at least three more years out of my current situation.  Pursuing similar work elsewhere is above "flipping burgers" and "being a greeter at Wal-Mart" on my list of possibilities, but not a whole lot above them.

I need to figure out what What's Next looks like.  Ideally, I would like to have a fairly clear vision of my next destination by the end of summer and start working toward it in the fall.

Part of the strategy is to declutter and organize my home AND my office, implement some sort of system of organization (possibly GTD with Ann McGee-Cooper-inspired tweaks), and simplify my current job and other responsibilities as much as possible to allow maximum time and energy for working toward What's Next.

Book and/or website recommendations?
Things to consider?
Transition advice from your experience?
Anything else that might be of help?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday

This week's question:  What do you wish to take a break from?

I had to think about this one for awhile and go read several other people's answers for inspiration.  Initially, I kept thinking of things that it isn't really possible to take a break from -- I can't move to a hotel to take a break from the clutter we are sorting our way through; there is a list of responsibilities that aren't going anywhere; and if anyone knows how to take a break from being exhausted, please clue me in!

Soooo....I wish to take a break from my negative thoughts.  I've been reading some law of attraction type stuff lately and have realized how gloomy/doomy my mental chatter is.  I'd love to take a break from listening to that.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pics, pics, pics!

Here are a few of the probably 1000+ pictures from our trips to Eureka Springs.  Some are from our first trip 3 years ago, and others are from the trip a couple of weeks ago.

Gargoyles!  These are the two that uploaded well.  Not sure what happened with the others -- they look fine in my photogallery, but uploaded here they are all pixelly.  :(

This is the crescent outside the Crescent Hotel, the haunted hotel we stayed at for our anniversary trip.  I used a photo editor to blur out the background a bit to emphasize the crescent.

This handsome guy stands guard outside one of the shops downtown.

These are two of my favorites of the window pics we took.  The first is one of the hotel windows.  The other is one of the windows in the church that is on the grounds.

And this is Jasper, one of the hotel kitties.  He and his brother Casper are very sweet and have the run of the place.  They came in through the kitty door that was installed for a previous (dearly departed) hotel kitty and decided to stay.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Create a Home that Supports My Soul (related goals)

I thought that restarting my 43 Things list might be a good way to update progress on my Sunday List of Dreams.  My first step was to take one of the big goals (create a home that supports my soul) and look through the rest of the list for other goals that are related.  Here they are!

*Dust off decorating notebook.
*Get some decent furniture.
*Stencil the walls to look like a crumbling castle.
*Get the red and black dishes.
*Have either a windchime or some other wonderful dangling thing in each corner of each room.
*Turn one room into a creative space.
*Create a sanctuary within my home.
*Do a full cleansing/blessing of the house.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wishes and Dreams

First, Wishcasting Wednesday.

This week's question from Jamie Ridler Studios -- What do you wish to pay attention to?

Prompted in part by one of Andrea Schroeder's recent posts on ABCcreativity in which she asked the Creative Dreamers to think about creating space for our dreams and in part by a feng shui book I just bought, my husband and I have embarked on a journey toward living clutter free. We've started in the storage room just off our carport.  We're spending an hour a day right after we get home from work sorting through the things we've stored there, deciding what to keep, what to donate, what can be recycled, and what really has to be tossed.

This brings me to my answer to the Wishcasting Wednesday question -- I wish to pay close attention to my energetic response to items.  If looking at an object makes my energy sink, it needs to go!  Even if I think I should keep it because it was a gift, or it belonged to Whoever, or it was expensive, or whatever other reason, IT NEEDS TO GO.  If it brings a smile to my face and a light feeling to my heart, I'll consider keeping it.  Many things I've given one last fond hug and put into the donation box.  I asked Drew to photograph a disintegrating paper mache puppet I made as a small child.  As soon as I pulled it out of the box, I started laughing.  As a tiny girl, I made a Dracula puppet.  No doubt my poor mother was horrified.  I regard this puppet as excellent evidence that Gothish tendencies are coded into my DNA.

So, that's my wish this week (and through this entire project really) -- I wish to pay more attention to my physical response to items than to the chatter about it happening in my head.

And now for a bit of a Dream update.

"Create a home that supports my soul" is in progress.  Decluttering is the first step.

20th anniversary trip -- TAKEN!  It was wonderful.  And in the process, I also checked off "go back to Eureka" and "take more gargoyle pictures"  -- 3 in one!

I've gotten started on the goal of making some of my own beauty/skin care products by making a bottle of fingernail oil.  Now if I could just get into the habit of using it a few times a day...

"Kick Mountain Dew" -- DONE!  Plus this one was in support of the goal to work on the lifestyle changes needed to give my thyroid a boost.

Pretty reusable shopping bags -- found! Now I just need to get consistent about remembering to take them into the store with me.

Not a bad start, eh?

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I looked up the assignment yesterday and jotted the fill-in-the-blank sentence on a sticky note to think about for a while.  Meanwhile I received the news that a friend at the Day Job has had a VSHE (very serious health event) and even if she makes it will be unlikely to recover well enough to return to work.  Friend is far too young for such a thing to happen!

This of course has our entire office in a stare-down with the concept of our mortality.  My wishcast, therefore, in honor of Friend, is:

I, pink, wish to give myself permission to do what I need to do to get healthy!  signed, pink <3

More about what that means later -- I'm supposed to be getting dressed to go to Day Job right now.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Changing Changes

The first assignment I'm catching up on was to do something different, notice how it feels, see what happens, and report back.

Flipping back through my planner/success recording journal, here are a few adventures I see:

I did a WishCasting Wednesday journal entry.  The question was "What do you wish to awaken?"  I wrote "I want to awaken my passion and creativity.  Bouncing off today's gift of uniqueness (I had drawn one of the gift slips left over from my map from the bowl and glued it onto the day's page.) -- awakening my passion and creativity will help me continue to uncover my uniqueness, dig it out of the rubble, polish it up, and let it shine."  I had forgotten I wrote that when I chose my celebration gift, but more on that later.

I made a deal with myself that I'm allowed to watch Clean House (my new television show addiction) IF I declutter while I watch.  Imagining what Niecy would say about my "foolishness" has been quite motivating  :)

From Groundhog Day, in my "Adventures" section of my notebook -- "what a radical notion!  The latest AweManac newsletter was in my email this morning.  One post titled 'Renegade Journal Writer' was confirmation of a blasphemous thought I had at about 1:30 this morning and made a whole stadium full of lightbulbs go on for me. 

"What did Jill suggest?  That the Morning Pages Police won't come and take me away if I don't follow the rules precisely.

"What was my 1:30 idea?  I gave up on Morning Pages because I don't have enough time for a full three pages between the time the alarm goes off and the time I have to start my day.  Suggest setting the alarm earlier than 5 am and I'll bite off your earlobe.  I'm frequently awake for awhile in the middle of the night though, and decided to try Middle of the Night Pages.  And -- even worse -- not considering it a tragedy if I happen not to wake up and do them.

"And after reading Jill's thoughts and the comments about how the whining that Morning Pages seem to inspire for a lot of us just isn't productive, I'm thinking I'll combine this with the idea I saw a week or so ago on a blog that I (predictably) cannot find again -- journaling my dream life, in exquisite detail, as if it is happening.  I really wish I could find that, but maybe I'm not supposed to -- so I can't follow those instructions too closely."

How has that gone?  Welllll......I woke up once and worked on it, but I've been sleeping through the night since.  THAT'S a welcome change, I can tell you!

Monday, February 15, 2010


I'm running a bit behind on blog posts (obviously), and I'm not entirely sure why.  Yes, work has been crazy, but we also spent a few days snowed in.  For some reason, I've been resisting posting the next thing I intended to scan.

One of the things I love about the way I did the map at the beginning is that it allowed me to see the connections between my goals.  For quite some time I've been trying to figure out what the first domino is -- the thing that I could do to cause a positive chain reaction through my life.  With my big goals on one page, I think I found it.

The first domino, the key to everything, is SPACE.  My home, my office, my life, and my brain need a serious declutter.

More to come, but I want to get this posted before I chicken out again.  Why is this harder than the map?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Planner/Success Tracker

I had a hard time deciding what sort of system I wanted.  I decided that updating a single blog post would be too hard to follow.  Separate posts might be a better option, but I strongly suspect that I wouldn't make a post for just one small thing and would therefore miss recording many successes.  I worked in a composition book for a few days last week, but was not in love with the paper.  Ballpoint pens were necessary to avoid bleedthrough, and I am not a fan of ballpoint pens.  Sooooo, I got a journal with a travel themed cover at Target.  It will handle liquid pens, but unfortunately not Sharpies.

Three days in, I'm enjoying it.  A few notes of explanation for the curious --
  • yes, there is an actual schedule under the sticky note.  i just covered it before scanning for privacy's sake.
  • if you're familiar with The Awe-Manac by Jill Badonsky, you'll see familiar elements -- naming the day, the "today i get to" list, and journal juju
  • i'm keeping track of my "try something new" assignment with the adventures list.
  • i did pick up the funky shui chair yesterday, which could go on my success list and my adventure list actually.  i'm really bad at allowing myself to have things i want.
  • funky shui is a term from a fantastic book (whose author i'll have to edit in later).  it's about decorating around the things you love rather than hiding them away or not bringing them home in the first place.  for example, if you see a suit of armor at a flea market and want it but think "where would i put it???" take it home and decorate around it.  if you love a suit of armor, you probably love other medieval themed things too, so just go with it.  or, if you collect pez dispensers, don't hide them away.  come up with a great way to display them. 
Next project -- making sure my dreams make it onto my "today i get to" lists on a regular basis.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Creative Visioning Map

I tried the list method first, but it wasn't really working for me.  Therefore, I decided to treat myself to the ebook as an early birthday present to myself.  I'm glad I did!  The map is much more inspiring :)

It still feels very much "in progress" (as evidenced by the fact that I stopped in the middle of this sentence to add something else!), but the page is getting full.

I added a few elements that weren't on the assignment but that the map seemed to need:  1) arrows that show relationships between the areas (for example, I drew an arrow from "sacred home" to "extreme self-care" because having a peaceful, organized space will make it easier to do things like cook delicious, healthy meals and make and use my own lotions and face masks and such)  2) "yellow brick roads" from where I am to where I want to be (these are more to do list oriented than feelings oriented)  and 3) a "keys" list to go along with the "bridges" list (again, these are more to do type things).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dreams Come True/Success List

I've had a huge amount of trouble with this list -- mostly because if an achievement was someone else's goal for me, I don't feel it belongs on this list.  Since I'm someone with a big people pleasing problem, that makes a HUGE dent in the potential list.

Anyway,  here is what I have so far:
  • I survived my childhood.
  • I kept the real me alive by hiding her away until I could create a safe environment for her to begin to emerge.
  • Even though I was steamrolled into going to college, I did at least have the courage to major in literature and the self-knowledge to stay out of pre-med, like my mom was pushing hard for.
  • I married the man my mother warned me about (still happily married almost 20 years later AND she finally admitted that I did the right thing)
  • I got that crazy spiky haircut in jr high and didn't let all the shocked expressions and comments stop me from gelling it into a porcupine every day.
  • I got the wrinkled, asymmetrical jacket and kept wearing it despite all the offers to teach me how to iron.
  • I am following my instincts and working toward healing my thyroid naturally rather than agreeing to treatment that feels wrong to me.
  • Step One -- I'm past the physical addiction stage of kicking my Mountain Dew habit ( 2-3 20oz bottles a day).  And I've stopped drinking orange soda.  (both contain brominated vegetable oil)
  • I've built a good basic library of herb books.
  • Attempted a container garden this past spring.
  • Had great luck growing garlic at mom's house.
  • Created Penelope (a piece of art -- I'll post her picture.  I'll have to take one first.  The only one I have is on my phone.)

  • Had several of my own photos printed, framed them, and hung them in the living room.
  • Got out of a job that was destructive for me.
  • Got out of a spiritual community that was destructive for me.
  • Stopped letting social norms dictate my decorating (gargoyles.  not just for halloween anymore. also using a black halloween tree as a "happy everything" tree.  when i put up christmas decorations, i took off some --not all-- of the halloween ornaments and added some silver christmas tree balls along with the skeletons.  now the skeletons have been joined by hearts for valentine's day.  i hope to find shamrocks for st. patrick's day.)
Half of these have been in the past year.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sunday List of Dreams

I've retitled my Big List of Dreams because I started a list after reading Kris Radish's novel called The Sunday List of Dreams.  My list is far from complete today (50 items so far), but I'll add to it as we go, dating each addition.

Some categories have been easier than others so far. 

Original List

  • Create a home that supports my soul.
  • Heal.
  • Dive into the wreck.
  • Give myself a makeover.
  • Figure out what in Olympus I want to do when I grow up.
  • Get a tattoo.
  • Eggs Benedict???

  • Find my happy weight.
  • Find healthy recipes that Drew and I both like.
  • Move toward eating local, organic food, including some that I grow myself.
  • Find exercise that I enjoy enough to do it regularly.
  • Move toward natural methods of healing.
  • Big Dream -- herb school.  Or maybe aromatherapy school.  Something like that.
  • Design and plant an herb garden.
  • Find ways to work garlic into my diet on a daily basis.
  • Start back on Clear Energy.
  • Work toward following lifestyle recs for thyroid issue.

  • More romance.
  • Work on being more open/less secretive.
  • We've declared 2010 The Year of Us -- get more specific about what that means to us.
  • Go away for a long weekend for our 20th anniversary in March. DONE
  • Take a real vacation together this summer.

  • Rebuild my support system, both online and IRL.
  • Check out the new moon women's group in town.

  • Feel creative.
  • Put regular art time on my schedule.
  • Dust off deecorating notebook.
  • Figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.
  • Photography.

  • Enough money to pay bills on time and without stress.
  • Adequate savings.
  • Adequate retirement investment.
  • Ability to buy things for myself without feeling guilty (this is a thought issue as much as a $ issue).
  • Get serious about couponing and bargain hunting to redirect dollars from boring parts of the budget to more enjoyable areas.
  • Cancel (and stop paying for!) services we aren't using.
  • Be able to take weekend trips and vacations when we want.
  • Get some decent furniture.
  • Do those "win a shopping spree" surveys at the bottom of store receipts.
  • Have more sources of income than just our day jobs.
  • Teach my brain to recognize more possibilities.

  • Build a wardrobe that makes me look and feel amazing.
  • Do a better job of keeping up with personal maintenance (haircuts and color, manis and pedis, etc).
  • Schedule a home spa day once a month.
  • Experiment with making my own scrubs and lotions and such. Made fingernail oil.

  • Fill my Big Book of Happy this year (this is an altered book project.  so far I have the cover done).
  • Equip my office for Joy Breaks, and schedule them several times a day.
  • Get started on Project ABH (anywhere but here -- Drew and I want to move to another part of the country, probably the Pacific Northwest, within the next several years).
  • Try new things this year!
  • Creating Dreams Come True will be a BIG adventure for me!
I also plan to add reading lists and links to websites where appropriate.  I know some of the entries make sense only to me.  Many of them will probably eventually have their own blog entries, but feel free to ask me about anything you are particularly curious about.  :)

Dreams Borrowed from or Inspired by Other Participants' Lists

  • Go to England, Scotland, Ireland
  • Go to Greece
  • Learn to make my own chai
  • Stencil my walls to look like a crumbling castle
  • Learn a bit of simple sewing -- enough for pillows and curtains and such
  • Get the red and black dishes
  • Practice ground/center/shield until it is habitual
  • Find more Gregorian chant CDs
  • Have either a windchime or some other wonderful dangling thing in each corner
  • Get going on the gratitude project that has been floating around in my head for years
  • Find our more about Soul Collage cards
  • Explore possibilities for new sources of income
  • Take at least one of Nicolette's creative lettering/doodling classes (
  • Switch to natural beauty products (mineral makeup, etc)
  • Develop a spiritual practice
  • Find a spiritual community (may have to be online, but the new moon group may work)
  • Find more quirky clothes
  • Find out what "new thought" is
  • Watch Food, Inc 
  • Watch The Future of Food
  • Drink as much Fiji water and Naked Juice as I want w/o worrying about how much it costs
  • Either figure out how to make my day job less soul-sucking OR figure out an alternative
  • Find ways to incorporate my reading on creativity into my day job
  • Pedagogy reading
  • Turn one room into a creative space
  • Create a sanctuary within my home
  • Live in a sustainable community surrounded by wonderful, supportive, creative people
  • Fill my home and my days with people, activities, and things I love
  • Take 10 found items and create a character from them
  • Win a zillion dollars
  • Make a Kiva loan -- preferably to a woman who is either doing something creative or wanting to buy a few goats or something
  • Research possibilities for landscaping our "problem" lot (bog plants for the area that stays so squishy?)
  • Try to remember the positive parts of my childhood
  • Go back to Eureka -- Take more gargoyle pics Done, although we weren't able to find many new ones.
  • Take more cemetery art pics
  • Find the wonderful things that exist where I live now.  Don't wait until we can move to have a great life
  • Teach the people at my day job how to treat me
  • Get feng shui/space clearing training
  • Figure out which fancy salad greens I love and find the perfect recipe for bread for veggie sandwiches
  • Get a bra fitting by a real pro, not "just a salesperson"
  • Go to the theatre more often
  • Make a dream board
  • Send a postcard to Post Secret
  • Learn to cook Greek food
  • Learn kitchen witchery skills
  • Visit Jim Morrison's grave
  • Visit Edgar Allan Poe's grave
  • Get a mini greenhouse so I can have herbs and veggies year round
  • Grow mushrooms
  • Sprout
  • Plant lots of pots of cat grass
  • Once the cat gets used to munching those, try reintroducing other house plants
  • Have a huge, beautiful palm tree and learn to care for it properly
  • Learn to make yogurt
  • Get a kombucha mother
  • Play with paperdolls
  • Learn to my hair and makeup better
  • Create soothing rituals
  • Learn basic GIMP skills
  • Get the Goddess Guidebook
  • Creative Goddess e-course for my birthday?
  • Kick Mountain Dew DONE
  • So Solution Journals & Feelings Letters
  • Burn them each new moon
  • Switch to natural cleaners -- experiment with using baking soda, vinegar, essential oils, etc
  • Actually USE the art supplies I have
  • Focus more on my own goals and less on pressure from outside sources
  • Make IRL friends who are actually supportive
  • Go to Bali
  • Make something wonderful with all the broken bits I've been collecting
  • Find out which herbs will grow well indoors
  • Send and receive more real mail
  • Master the learning curve on the Diva Cup
  • Find pretty reusable shopping bags  DONE
  • Make my own greeting cards, esp for Halloween and Christmas
  • Find time to read for pleasure
  • Do a full cleansing/blessing of the house
  • Learn to enjoy herbal tea
  • Set up an altar
  • Be more like the cat.
  • Organize brain.  Stat.
  • Attract butterflies, lady bugs, dragonflies, and fairies to my garden (added 1/13)
  • Make peace with toads and lizards
  • Pet a snake on the head -- a friendly one in a pet shop or someone's home, NOT some random stranger snake in the backyard!
  • Take a photography class with Drew
  • Learn to bead my own necklaces so I can have just what I want