Musing… pre-Holiday panic

I know, I know… December gets a little crazy for pretty much everyone. I’m preaching to the choir… Myself, I’m anticipating at least one large project arriving mid-month, and my other work always seems to kick into high gear as well…

Then there is the traditional “ohmygodhowisChristmasonly3weeksaway” panic: card-making, cookie baking, present shopping, and general list-making… oh and the tree and lights… right…

I really wanted to make an Advent Calendar, but knew I had to set some limits. So this was a one-shot, no rough drafts, get-it-done and prepped-to-hit-publish sort of project! Which is why it ended up looking like a bingo card. My 2017 calendar is already on my to-do list for next year — only to start it in June!

I’ll be posting each day here and on Facebook, hope it brings some smiles to everyone!advent-pre

Brainstorms

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I love brainstorming, I had it as a service on my business card for a while because it seems like clients appreciate my approach of putting all the ideas out there — even if you know it’s Bad, because I think you need something to throw away to truly appreciate what’s Good.

Some of my friends have been subjected to this approach when they ask my opinion about a decision… I can make a list of  Best Case to Worst Case like no one else. I’m yet to figure out how to market this.

Anyway, I brainstormed my own list of creative projects to get done for the holidays… and managed to whittle it down to TWO, because lo and behold maybe I have finally figured out that 3 weeks in December fly by much faster than in any other month (except May, it seems like May goes by pretty quickly too)… and today I actually FINISHED one of them. There were no outtakes, no second tries, it just had to get done. And I might have even giggled to myself a few times.

Oh, what is the project? You’ll have to wait until Thursday to see…

Practice makes perfect

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I’m not good at practicing, which is an underlying reason that I never took up music or sports. (Sports may have been because I’m also not that competitive. Not a great asset to have in a team player.) I tend to be a “If at first you don’t succeed, give up for a few months and then try it again. Maybe.” sort of person. Art also fell into the “practice” category, and I never took to sketching, the idea of working the same thing over and over until I ended up with something that I liked… It just made me cranky. I could see in my brain how I wanted something to look, and when I couldn’t get it on paper immediately… I would stop.

This spring I decided I needed to practice practicing, if I ever wanted to start doing some sort of art again. I still got tangled up in this notion of “practice makes perfect.” I pictured asking myself “Is it perfect now? How about now? Is it perfect this time?” and my stress level kicked in a couple of extra notches. But I hauled out all the sketchbooks I’ve stashed over the years and had at it.

Today I heard myself (well, it was over chat, so technically I read it), anyway, saw myself type this:

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Yup. Maybe, just Maybe, I finally understand what this practicing thing is all about.

Word: Disentangle

dis·en·tan·gle    disənˈtaNGɡ(ə)l/   verb
1. free (something or someone) from an entanglement; extricate.
2. remove knots or tangles from (wool, rope, or hair).
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Last week I got myself hopelessly tangled up. Not with yarn (although that’s a mess, too) — but with my brain and heart. Waiting on test results for the Weary Dog wore me out. Premature speculation from the vet was pretty much the end of me. The final verdict is that he is dying… but not yet. Just like many of us. Antibiotics down the gullet for a few weeks, and a change in food, and fingers crossed he will be the spunky character we’re used to, careening awkwardly around the house. In the meantime, it took the better part of the weekend to disentangle the chaos.

Reminder to self: Stop, Drop, and Roll with it, baby.

Strong, but Weary

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Lyttle weighs 8.8 pounds. That’s about 0.8 pounds up from last year, and that is fine by me. He is a rescue, adopted several years ago by someone who became a dear friend of mine (but that will be a different musing). Best estimate is that he is currently 16 years old.

Due to his early abuse he has permanent nerve damage in his lower back and legs, and a kink in his esophagus. He’s got attitude, the good kind, and gave me a fantastic stink-eye the first time I met him.

Walking him has always been an exercise in patience, between him being a bit wobbly, a bit fearful of bridges, and a bit of a busy-body. In the last few years he has become a bit less fearful, but that was an unfortunate companion to him going blind. Walking is still an exercise in patience, mostly because it takes more effort to be a busy-body with only partially functioning ears and a decidedly questionable sense of smell.

He’s strong. He’s dependable. He likes keeping to a schedule. He lives with us now after he stayed with my friend until her dying day (yup, another musing).

We visited the vet today after 24 hours of him not keeping anything down. I was a wreck. He was stoic. Poking, prodding, an anti-nausea shot, and blood drawing. All with a bit of stink-eye and a smile. Until I took him outside to get a urine sample. At that point, I put him on the ground and he fell over. This isn’t THAT unusual, I’m sorry to say. So I tried again. And he fell over. He stared at me as only a blind dog can, and I got it. Weary, he said. I’ll be okay. Just a little weary. So we came home.

Comfort Zone

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I had no intentions of writing much on this site, I just wanted a place to put my sketches, maybe include a little nature-based info. But things change, and I feel like I need to add a few words.

If you are watching social media or the news you know that right now there is a movement to wear a safety pin to indicate you are a safe person: you are someone that people who are vulnerable can feel safe with.

I’m not wearing a pin. There, I said it. Actually, I usually have safety pins on my backpack straps, and occasionally zippers, so I am thankful the safety pin hasn’t been chosen as the emblem of something Horrible.

I’d like to think that instead of wearing a pin, I am making more of statement by smiling, by listening, by paying attention to what’s going on around me, making eye contact and letting people know “I see you. I’m aware of you. I’m aware of what’s around us.” People may not notice a safety pin hanging off my zipper, but they will notice that I hold the door for them, that I scootch over a little so there is some extra room for them in the line for coffee, that I frown at the person on the cell phone that starts crowding us, that I offer an extra hand if they are carrying something heavy. Ask someone if they are okay if it looks like they aren’t, when you ask “How are you doing?” — mean it, and listen to the answer.

I know it’s not that easy. This isn’t a judgement post, I simply don’t want to spend too much time discussing who is or isn’t wearing a safety pin and why. Talk to people. Acknowledge people. Let them know you are a Good Person. Don’t make them have to scrutinize you searching for a sign — because chances are some day you’ll forget to wear the piece of clothing you’ve pinned it on.