I love it when Scott the mailman brings me goodies!

Darling Hubby bought me this great Matte Stephens print I’ve been yearning for!

And my sweet Lalie sent me a goody box in the mail!

Hubby did the photoshop because I’ve been drinking! ha ha ha! The funny thing is, I’ve been wishing I had some of those tiny little clothes pins. Just goes to show you, tell the Universe what you want and you get it:)

Spring REALLY IS Coming Back!!!

I always “know” that spring will return each year, but when it does I never fail to be filled with delight and some surprise. Now I know that I live in Utah and it’s only March 3, but there are plants coming up out of the ground! Plants that weren’t there yesterday. My neighbor down the street has a slopping, raised yard that is covered with violets each year. As my husband and I walked by there last night I looked for the violets. They weren’t there. But today they are! In my own yard (or pots) I have violets blooming, tarragon peeping up, a feverfew plant that I didn’t think made it last year, oregano, and all kinds of bulbs.

I went for another walk today in keeping with my promise to myself to get more exercise, and with the intention of using that walk as meditation practice. I went exploring and found a little pocket park. I played on the swings. That’s right, you heard me. I played on the swings. It was fun! I got a little bit of vertigo, but I ignored that and pushed on, laughing at myself. Laughing at the thought that at almost the half century mark I’m just now starting to feel like it’s ok to be a child.

I am happy to experience a childlike joy. I am looking forward to finding a lot of that with my grand daughter. Her mother goes back and forth between accusing me of “taking over parenting” and not helping her enough. While the second may be true, the first most certainly is not. I don’t want to be a parent again. I want to play with my grandbaby. I want to make messes, bake cupcakes and eat them, splash in water, dance in circles, and swing.

I received an email from my sister the other day that included a picture of me when I was about 13. I have no memory of the occasion of that picture. The non-memory, accompanied by my sister’s snarky remarks have really been bringing up a lot of shit for me this week: feelings of loneliness and rejection from my childhood. And junior high! How horrible is that? I thought of all this as I was swinging back and forth through the soft, warm air. I thought about how I used to hurt so much over not fitting in – in my family or at school, and about how silly I must look, this old woman playing on the swings. And you know what? I didn’t give a fuck! I laughed at the joy of swinging and letting all that shit from the past fall right off me into the sand.

studio before and after

The other day I was standing in the midst of this……

…wringing my hands and turning in circles. I was trying to reorganize my studio, but instead I was just creating a bigger and bigger mess. When suddenly Darling Hubby called and said, “Honey, I think we should go to IKEA and get you some shelves for your studio.”

Well TWIST MY ARRRM why don’t you!!!!

Now my studio looks like this……

There is a floor! I know there’s still a lot of stuff in there, but it’s organized and there is room to think.

I’m pretty sure that the Swedish word for heaven is spelled I-K-E-A!

getting ready for the show

I’m heading to the framer’s today to get this first batch ready to hang. I’m anxious about the show, and I when I think about it my heart starts beating really fast and my breath catches. This is my first real gallery show and I’m so afraid of making a fool of myself.

It feels so good though to be coming to the end of this particular episode in my artistic story. For months I’ve been dealing with the stress of trying to pry out the time and mental space to devote to my art. I’ve been worried that I wouldn’t finish and wouldn’t be able to keep my commitment. To have this show is a grand opportunity for me, and the beginning really of my art career. I can’t blow it. For the past few months I’ve felt like my thoughts were constantly in the studio; I’ve felt resentment when people have tried to pull my attention away from there, and then I feel guilt about not paying enough attention to other areas of my life, such as relationships. I’ve not been able to really enjoy any time spent away from the studio because of worrying about my deadline.

Now I feel time opening up to me and this lifting of pressure off my head. I’m able to think about other things I want to do, like get my house clean! And I can start thinking of my next art project. I’m ready to move in another direction and I need time to experiment, doodle in my sketchbook, and explore other styles. I’m trying to find my authentic voice. I know I have my own style, but I just don’t feel like it’s saying what I want it to. There is something more inside of me and I need to excavate it.

Winter Farmer’s Market

Yesterday, I talked about what I liked about living in Utah. One of the things I’m grateful for is my winter farmer’s market. Chad and his family are at the downtown market at Pioneer Park all summer; they also do their own market during the winter in the parking lot at Oasis Cafe. If you’re in Salt Lake, stop over there on Saturday to see all their goodies and see if you can get on the CSA list. I love being able to get fresh, locally grown produce through the winter. A couple years ago I made a commitment to start eating and buying local as much as possible. Chad’s Produce helps me keep that commitment in a very delicious way.

Gaiety in Utah

When I began this blog my intention was to keep religious, political and moral opinions out of it; I wanted this to remain a neutral space. With the events of this last week, however, I feel the need to speak out against hate.

I find the remarks made by Senator Chris Buttars abhorrent. When I look around at friends and family, who just happen to also be gay, I feel great anger that anyone could ever suggest that these lovely, dear people could be a threat to our country. I feel so much anger towards people who think it’s their right and in their authority to force their morals and opinions on others. I feel even more anger that anyone can hold such hate and bigotry and call it moral uprightness.

Yesterday, I made a remark on my Facebook page saying that I was embarrassed to live in Utah. That’s not fair to all the wonderful, good – gay and straight – people that live in Utah. I was placing judgment against the entire state because of the small-mindedness and ignorance of only a portion of the population. Utah is actually a great place to live. As I was out and about today, enjoying the sunshine and seeing all the people going here and there, I was filled with a joy at being here. The landscape is beautiful; I’ve met many intelligent, generous, loving, authentic people here; there is never a lack of interesting and enlightening experiences.

I’d just like to say to those people who agree with Buttars, it was hubris that caused the fall of Rome, not sodomy. Read a real history book.

Color Theory

How do I express this experience? I feel color. Color consumes me, seduces me, possesses me. I’m drowning in color sensations. I don’t have to see a particular color to experience the essence of it. I go through color moods. When I first moved to Colorado, and for years after, I was filled with this certain color of violet that came from the mountains at dusk. This was a color of freedom, beauty, deep breaths, an expansiveness, yet a grounding security that came from the mountains themselves.

Lately I’ve been in a green and blue, and a green and red mood. It’s an earthy retro green and turquoise, and candy colored spring green with raspberry pink. Or, in art school terms: green with red undertones and blue moving towards green; and green moving towards yellow, with….oh nevermind that. It has just become apparent to me that I need to revisit color theory.

When these moods overtake me I must seek out the colors. Yesterday I went to a new fabric store. I was barely in the door when I almost exclaimed out loud my joy in the sensory stimulation. But that would go against the restraint I have carefully cultivated over the years. There were stacks of the most beautiful colors! Beautiful retro prints, lovely springy-little girl-flowery prints. I picked out some blue and green to make some new pillow tops to give my living room a boost. And I satisfied my need for bright green and pink (and a little yellow and orange thrown in) with some fat quarters that I plan to make into a quilt for my grand daughter. I’m really wishing I had my Lalie here to help me plan and piece this quilt!

Oh! and did I mention orange?


Yesterday afternoon I heard a knocking, a tap-tap-tapping, then a pound pound pounding at my door. I wasn’t expecting company, or a delivery of any sort. It’s my neighbor who gets the daily visit from the brown truck with goodies. So I almost didn’t answer the door; I was upstairs in my studio, painting away (and watching Dark Shadows while I painted, snicker, snicker). I got up and looked out the window; all I saw was a shabby little car with the door standing open, parked in front of the neighbor’s drive. I still couldn’t see any good reason to answer the door (yes I’m rude and a hermit). But then the pounding started and the ringing of our very odd door bell (clanger?) so I decided I’d better go see what was going on. I was quite surprised when I opened the door to this large bunch of greenery. I assumed they were for my daughter. I know I had a funny, confused look on my face when the delivery woman said my name! She looked at me quite oddly too:) They were really for me! It was Hubby Dear surprising me a couple days early. I never know what to expect from him. He’s a sweetheart.

We really don’t get all that into Valentine’s Day. I appreciate an acknowledgment, but don’t want or expect extravagance. I can get really mushy and tell you that everyday is Valentine’s Day for us, and in a way it is. After four years of marriage and a couple more together, we really are still newlyweds. We have a sweet, mellow little life together. I like it.

Out and about today there was so much traffic and crowds everywhere, people rushing about, trying to find just the right gift, the right outfit to wear, the perfect perfume, the ideal meal, that would help them find love or prove their love. V-Day is really a horrible day. It puts so much pressure on people to perform, standards to live up to. And for the people who are alone, either by choice or circumstance, everywhere they look they are reminded of their solitude. I was one of them until I met my husband. I’m thankful I have him in my life. I’m thankful that we aren’t hung up on silly commercial holidays. That doesn’t mean I won’t cook him a special meal tomorrow, and open a bottle of slightly better red than we’re used to. Maybe….I’ll even get lucky. Or he will:)