Friday, October 24

On Being Grown Up and Assisted Living

I thought that perhaps because I lost my mom when I was 29 that I would not be dealing with anymore death and sickness for a very long time. But you never really know when it's coming. I know that it is just another part of life, but I choose to pretend it's not most of the time.
One of the collateral events of  losing my uncle was that my Granma's care had to be re-arranged. She is not in the best of health (she will not give up those cigarettes) but her main issue is that she is in early stages of Alzheimers. Since I am her closest living (and functional) relative, I am her "agent". I have learned all sorts of fun things about Medicare, VA benefits, Social Security, and assisted living in the last couple of months. Thankfully my stepmom and my brothers are also here to help and my Uncle Ronnie helped move Granma's things here from New Orleans. She is beginning to get settled and besides complaining about how cold it is here, she seems relatively happy. If you know my granma, this makes perfect sense. Happy for her is a diferent state than for most of us. 
At any rate I am glad that she can be just down the street from my house and that she has a safe place to be with her own things around her. She has been through a lot in the last few years, not the least of which is losing her home in Hurricane Katrina. She tells great stories, and even though she tells them over and over, I still like to hear them. I'll post some of her good ones.

Monday, September 8

Sad News

Many of you have heard me speak about my wonderful Uncle Lew. I wrote about him in this blog last year. Sadly, he died last week; at a rather young age, and way too soon for me. 

He was fantastic with a capital "F" in more ways than I could ever adequately express. I'd like to think that it is from him that I get my extreme silly streak, biting sarcasm, and penchant for placing things on my head.

There was a lovely article about him in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Tuesday, June 17

In Support of Napping

I have been known to enjoy a nap from time to time (OK, almost daily), so I was tickled to see this in the Boston Globe. For all the info, click here.

Wednesday, February 20

Turn Around...

for more info about the eclipse, go here.

to listen to a bad 80's song about total eclipses of the heart, go here.

Monday, January 28

he's singing a little in there

I recently renewed my Netflix subscription and at the top of my old queue was Born Into This, a documentary about Charles Bukowski that I've been wanting to see for a few years.

This film documents his brokenness and his brilliance very well.

My favorite Bukowski poem, read by Harry Dean Stanton, from the film.

Tuesday, January 22


I can't believe that it had been so long since I saw these girls. Our Sirs adventure was over six months ago! A lot has happened since then and it was very difficult to stay on task with any crafty things, with all the catching up. Jen and Beth did manage to get some quilting done while Shona and I chatted a lot and knitted a little. Shona showed me a new drop stitch that I will start as soon as I get my current project off my #5's. She also gave me a collection of very special books. I love it when my friends de-clutter.

Beth has the most fantastic collection of craft books. She's lucky I didn't swipe her copy of Midwest Modern, it almost "fell" into my bag. She also made some delicious soup, gave me a vintage hat and a screen print I've had my eye on and was a generally lovely hostess and fabulous teacher. I want to take her sewing class at Watkins just to suck up all the sewing knowledge I can from her crafty little brain.

These girls are a delight, an inspiration, and I can't wait to do it again!

Wednesday, January 16

Please Define Success

babbling brook
I have always been the sort to have great ambitions and ideas, goals and dreams, but find myself falling short of my lofty visions. I have dealt with this over the years by telling myself that it was ok to fall short because working toward something and falling short was far better than giving up on conjuring the plans which propel me into some sort of action that I might otherwise spend watching HGTV.

I have friends and family ask “Wait, didn’t you go to nursing school? Aren’t you a nurse” So what did you end up majoring in that time? and the massage therapy? Do you still do that? Didn’t you used to write stuff? Hey, I thought you worked in healthcare? Really, you did fundraising for a non-profit? How did I miss that?”.
I know it doesn’t make sense to everyone but all of my peripatetic ventures, vocational and educational, have given me a unique (and yes, related) set of skills that are woven into the fabric of who I am as well as what I can do.

I also have experienced, that life cares little that I just enrolled full time in school and got settled half-way across the country. A call home to care for a dying mom trumps all best-laid plans. So does an inner call to take care of my own broken spirit, heart, or physical body. To forge ahead with the planned agenda when other things in life cry for my attention would be foolish. So, I am glad that I know when to create a change in plans.

To my credit, I have become a better life-editor. I am interested in a lot of things, so I have learned to say no to many enticing but extraneous ventures, so that I can say yes to the things that I value most. Life also loves to give you exactly what you thought you wanted so that you can discover that you didn’t really want that. Much self- knowledge has been gained in my chase after what I thought I wanted and found at the end of the chase, it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be and I didn’t want it after all. Narrowing the path by crossing some things off the list has been important.

One of my most favorite tools to working all this out has been the book “The War of Art”, which I wrote about previously here. I have tons of resistance, and that little book helps me laugh at it, give it the finger , and do my work. Last year a group of women invited me to study the “Success Principles” which was a powerful experiment in manifesting our truest desires in our lives, collectively. But I can assure it wasn’t airy-fairy crystal rubbing magic…we practiced intentional thinking followed by action and prepared ourselves for results. The whole process reminded me of the old proverb “if you’re praying for potatoes, you better have a hoe in your hand”.

So, my basic personal philosophy of success for quite some time has been: “success through goal achievement”. I have been working out my barriers, internal and external, in a myriad of ways, but that basic principle has remained unchanged.

Until yesterday. I read something that made me re-think my whole way of thinking about success. I have had some disconnected thoughts about the perils of goal-seeking, but I just chalked them up to resistance and moved on. But this idea, seemingly contrary to the principles I have staked my personal and professional development on, spoke to me. It made perfect sense. It explained why I felt so stuck sometimes and it explained how I could get un-stuck.

I intend to write more about this in coming weeks but here is a little nugget to chew on for now (from The Underachiever’s Manifesto: The Guide to Accomplishing Little and Feeling Great):
• Life’s too short.
• Control is an illusion.
• Expectations lead to misery.
• Great expectations lead to great misery.
• Achievement creates expectations.
• The law of diminishing returns applies everywhere.
• Perfect is the enemy of good.
• The tallest blade of grass is the surest to be cut.
• Accomplishment is in the eye of the beholder.