Saturday, October 22, 2011


Lately I've needed permission to step outside of my routine and engage with my creativity. I have spurts of creativity, but they are short lived and usually I have to go back to work and put the project brewing in my head or on the page to the side. It's an uncomfortable feeling, but there are bills to be paid.
Logic would say I could just come back to it when I get home. Emotionally? Sometimes I am chomping at the bit to get home and get back to work. Sometimes I just don't have it in me.

For a long time I believed whole heartedly that my job, with the drama and chaos that is inherent in a mental health facility as well as the insidious and abundant amount of paperwork, would kill my ability to write a coherent sentence outside of the typical and generic. That belief  did not do me any favors and it did what I was afraid of my work doing. It zapped my ability to create and overtime I just grew more and more frustrated until eventually I  gave up writing all together. I write here a couple times a month. When I first started this blog I had thought to commit to posting 4-5 times a week.

I seriously do not have that kind of energy. Lesson learned and I began posting only when I wanted to. Problem with that was that I forgot I had a blog when something fun or interesting would pop up. I of course remembered the blog at a later date and began posting a little more regularly. I think 2x a month is my average.I did not look at the actual information and am just flying by the seat of my pants on this number.

And then creativity came back, just like that. It just re-appeared as though it had disapperated and went on holiday in Fiji and came back when I least expected it. But when I sat down to write, what I wrote was very stilted, awkward, and it looked very forced. This, I believe, is exactly as it was supposed to be. I am grateful inspiration struck again. I am glad that I was able to step out of my routine, play a little hooky, and spend the day alone and playing. The funny thing was, right before this occurred, I had contacted an old writing group acquaintance who I knew was some kind of coach. It just so happened she is a creativity coach. She and I had met once or twice and communicated a bit on facebook.  We met for coffee and had a nice chat and I learned a thing or two. Things I had not stopped to really know about myself. 

I am a very hands-on person. I like textures, I shop for clothing by feel first and second by sight. Yes, I have bought some hideous things because they were comfortable. I knit, I crochet, I was a potter for 10 years, and I am most at home when my hands are involved and there is some kind of physicality to the project. At these times it is also when I do the most processing, digesting, and formulating. I don't have to have silence, but noise that is intrusive is not my friend. I am a person who likes her solace, who believes everyone has basic human rights and I have believed this since childhood. So with this information she told me write when the impulse strikes, do not sit down and write every morning or night at the same time for the same amount of time. I should create with my hands first, my mind will follow. And it does. When I am working on a blanket or scarf or hat my mind is on my knitting, but it is also on other projects. I build worlds and people when I am doing something that requires a high level of concentration and silence. Writing is not second nature to me, not anymore. But I think with time, as I use painting, fiber, yarn, tile, glass, and grout I will increase play in my life.

I was asked to get some house paint and paint a wall, somewhere in my house. That immediately reminded me that I have never finished my reading room and right after I parted from her company I went to my preferred Home Improvement store and bought my paint. A beautiful dusty red called Rhubarb for my reading room and a caramelly brown called corkboard for the bathroom I have wanted to work on for a few years.

So I shall see how this goes!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Some of our plants are in!

Whew! The garden is ready to be planted! We had taken 1 week off because I needed some time not doing anything and then the next weekend the irrigation flooded us out. 2 weeks off and grass we thought we had killed had already started to come back. Grass in the desert does not die. It hibernates and waits for moisture then springs up again green and lovely. That would be nice if I wanted a lawn, but not in my garden!


We finished the job today. And boy, my whole body aches. It was a tough job. The tiller that we had planned on using had a bit of an issue and was not working right so we had to turn the soil by shovel. That was not so bad, but I hope to never do it again!

We planted 3 different varieties of tomato plants, 2 bell pepper plants,  1 jalapeno plant, and several carrots.  Next weekend we go back and plant the onion sets, leeks and lettuce.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Good Reads Give-aways

I recently started making use of my Good Reads account. I had been signed up with them for quite sometime, but I stopped paying attention and pretty much forgot about them. Somehow I ended up there again and realized I had set up an account and added a few books to my "shelves." I signed in, changed some of my email settings and started getting emails. One email I got recently was about give-aways.

Like most people I love free stuff, but a free book is heaven!  I am an avid reader. If I could make a living reading I would do it in a nano-second. I will read nearly anything. So I signed up for a giveaway of a book that appeared to be somewhat entertaining. A few weeks later I got an email saying I had won and to expect my book in 4-6 weeks. I was thrilled. 3 weeks later the book arrived!

The book's title is Born to Bark: My Adventures with an Irrepressible and Unforgettable Dog By Stanley Coren. It is a memoir of a psychologists life with his many dogs, how he came to study animal-human behavior, and his wonderful Cairn Terrier, Flint.There is a bit of training tid-bits in there too. I was very surprised that someone finally wrote a book about these wonderful little dogs who really do think they are big dogs. The book is written in a down-to-earth manner that allows you to see the human writing it, rather than the psychologist (there are bits of that too, but it is not a research book.) I am also glad that the author writer in a tone that is intelligent and not too terribly main stream. He is honest about how he chooses a puppy and about the breed. It really is a worth while read.

So if you do not have a Good Reads account and love to read you may want to check them out. Free books are a mighty nice thing!

For the few that actually look at or read this blog you may know my husband and I are owned by a six year-old Cairn Terrier named Emerald. I say 'owned' because she does own us. There is no other way to put it. Em is one of the best dogs I have ever had the pleasure to live with. She was simple to house-break, easy to train (heel, sit, stay, patience,take it, leave it, car ride, Petsmart, and relax are all in her vocabulary and she responds appropriately to each- "quiet" is hit or miss.)  Her spirit, her sense of humor, her ability to insist that certain things are done her way (walks,) the fact that she upholds the house rules and head butts the cats if they are scratching the furniture or decide to get near the dinner table when she has heard them told no or we are setting the table or eating.She is protective of her home and her humans and cats. She lets you know when there is something on the other side of the door and adores people, especially small humans. Her bark is that of a bigger dog and many a delivery person has been shocked to see a 20 pound dog on the other side of the door scrabbling at the floor to greet them. She is very independent, not a lap dog, and would prefer to have more work to do around the house then to herd cats.  I think perhaps some gardening would be her best job and once it cools down we intend to take her to the garden to give her something to do. She is affectionate, but prefers the kind of affection that usually includes a toy, a game of chase, or a treat. She is a comedian and a curious boxy little dog with some serious self esteem.