Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Quilt Update





So here is a picture of the quilt I am working on. It is in the final stages and now I just need to cut off the excess from around the edges and sew the binding around that outer edge. It has taken me several months because I do not always want to work on it. Sewing, I have found, takes an enormous amount of patience on my part, and I do not always have the patience to sit down and work on it.

I find it ironic because my job requires a large amount of patience, and I am usually up for it. But I do find that once I am home, I do not want to be patient any more. Probably a big reason I do not have children of my own. By the end of the work day, and during vacations, I find I have lost a lot of the patience I have so naturally have at my job.

I do plan to finish my quilt within the next two days. I think I can get it done today, but I am giving myself two days to have the whole thing finished. One of the things I find is very funny about learning to sew the way that I am (with the book, Sew Everything Workshop) is that I often make things I do not need or want. Although I like this quilt, I have not need for it and am not sure what I will do with it once it is finished. I have pondered making another one and then giving one to each of my nieces.

Which coincidentally goes along with something that happened to me this morning. I am back in physical therapy to work on my right leg, which has gotten hurt over the last two + years of using it more than my left leg (which I catastrophically broke 2 1/2 years ago). One of the helpers heard me say that I had made a dog coat and asked me for the pattern. I thought about it and told her that she can just have the dog coat I made for my dog. She offered to pay for it, so we'll see about that, but really, my dog will not want it. (I tried it on him after I made it, and he didn't hate it but surely, didn't love it. Here is my post about that http://gettingtomenow.blogspot.com/2015/10/doggy-coat.htmlhttp://gettingtomenow.blogspot.com/2015/10/doggy-coat.html ). It just made me think about giving away more of what I make while I am learning. I did donate one skirt I made to a local thrift store because I knew I would never wear it.

Well, anyhoo, I will let you know about my finishing the quilt and will show you what it looks like int the end! 

Thanks for always coming back to read about my world! I have been fairly sporatic in my postings lately and will try to be more consistant in posting in the future.

Hope y'all are well and in good spirits! Happy holidays all around! Happy New Year's!!

HUGS!!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Nebula In Purple




My favorite color is purple so naturally I have several paintings of nebula in purple. All three of the paintings are smaller ones, about 9" x 11" or so. I really like that all three are purple but look different. That's one of the things I love about painting nebula; you can use the same or similar colors in many paintings and yet they all look unique. 

The one thing that I have really gained from painting is a tiny view into the world of no limitations. Although I am still not always convinced of this notion, painting allows me to see a world of having no limitations and what that can come about from that kind of thinking. 

I really love the three paintings above! I hope you do something that results in things that make you really happy and loving what you did, whether its a product like a painting or the result of helped peopled.

How do you spend your non-work time? Is it all "other duties" or do you spend time doing things that you love and makes you feel good?

I love it when y'all throw out your ideas and leave some sort of comment!

Hugs! Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Our Baby is Home


Indy (10 months)  and Buddy (9 1/2 years)

So after driving over 8 hours to and from the Yreka area, my husband brought home our youngest family member, our 10 month old chocolate Labrador retriever. As I told you in a recent post, Indy was at hunt school for 5 months. I have missed him a ton!

First thing about him is that he is a big 10 month old. Our 9 year old Lab is a pretty big lab at 75-80 lbs. (not a fat lab, just big), and Indy is already taller and longer than him. Second thing about him is that he is thin, really thin. He has been growing so fast that his body has not been able to put on weight, and he looks a little bit emaciated. The trainer let us know that they continually increased his food to get him to gain weight, but it just wasn't happening yet. We'll get him fattened up eventually so I 'm not worried about him.

We took Indy to the vet, and he said he looks healthy, even if he is thin. He already weighs 66 lbs. He recommended high energy food, puppy food, or adding hard boiled eggs to his food. I am going to start with adding eggs to his food to see how that effects his weight.

Indy is a lovely puppy who is calmer and more casual than Buddy, our first dog. I am so excited to see him grow and see what kind of dog he will turn out to be. So far, it seems like he will be a great hunting pal AND house dog.

Do you have a dog, or a  pet? I would love to hear about the animal family members in your life!!

Hugs!!

Thank you for stopping by!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I Love Space!!


Years ago, a friend of mine started painting, and it occurred to me that I wanted to paint, also. But when I started painting, I wasn't happy with the things I was painting so I started looking around for something new to paint, and I found nebula. 

I wasn't really sure what they were, but from the moment I saw one, I was hooked! The colors are amazing and the variety of them are awe inspiring!


I did some research about nebula and then I liked them even more. I love that they are often the left over gas from an exploding star and then the birth place of new stars and planets. The idea of nebula being a visual example of death and rebirth is thought provoking and intriguing. 


If you have never looked into what a nebula is, go Google that shit! They are amazing and maybe they will blow our mind like they did mine!!!


HUGS!!!!!




Sunday, November 15, 2015

Puppy's Coming Home!!

Indy Sept 12, 2015

I did a post a while ago about sending our puppy, Indy, to hunting school where he was learning obedience and learning to become a hunting dog. He went there on June 27, and we thought he would be gone for 3 months or so. Well, its been more than 4 and a half months, and my husband goes to pick him up on Wednesday, Nov. 18. I am so happy that he is coming home yet I am a little apprehensive about having 2 dogs in the house and in our world. 

Overall, though, I am excited to have our second puppy coming home so we can really get to know him and start taking him out into the field to duck hunt with us. I am so interesting in seeing him work on retrieving ducks and how he responds to being in the field, really hunting with us. Our older dog, Buddy, is extremely excited about hunting, so much so he is a little jumpy and often doesn't want to wait to be released to go get the bird. 

Our trainer told me Indy was what he called a casual dog. I didn't really get it until I saw the trainer working with Indy. Indy did what he was asked to do yet he did it very nonchalantly. Yet when the trainer got out a bird wing, Indy got very interested; he got very birdy, which means he was very, very excited about getting the bird smelling thing. 

So, it should be interesting to see what our new dog is all about. I will let you know!

If you have pets, love them!!

Hugs!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Exploring in Painting

Green Tin Painting 1

I decided a while ago that I wanted to try to paint a nebula on to a different kind of surface. We had recently changed our water heater, and there was a piece of metal pipe left over. So I took it and cut it and hammered it flat. I spent some time cleaning it to get it back to the pretty silver underneath the dust and dirt. I thought the color on the outside would look best for the nebula I was thinking of doing. The above picture is the first layer of the painting. 

Green Tin Painting 2

The second layer has lighter shades of green combined with the first layer of a grass green. 

Green Tin Painting 3

In this layer I added some black and a thin layer of very light almost white green.  I am always trying to get a cloudy look to my nebula paintings and it usually requires many different layers. 

Green Tin Painting 4 

Again more layers of several colors of green, some white, and black. I was struggling with this painting in deciding when I should stop panting. This often happens because I can see many endings as I paint yet I am often interested in what it might look like if I  . . . . 

Green Tin Painting 5

After the taking the last picture, I decided that it was ready for the stars. For this painting, I used both white and a very, very light green to make the stars. I never know how many stars there will be or where the stars will be when I start starring the picture. I am happy with how this experiment of painting on tin turned out and have been inspired since to paint on different mediums.

This was really fun to do :) and it challenged me because the paint acted differently on metal as apposed to the canvas I usually paint on. Yet totally worth any difficulties I encountered! 

Challenge yourself and try something new!

Hugs!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dressing Up

Vampire Me

I really like dressing up for Halloween, and my job allows me to dress up, as long as it is within our dress code. But I was at a conference on Friday, thus no dressing up for me. I was bummed especially because my husband had bought us new vampire teeth. 

I got home form my conference on Friday afternoon, and my cute husband suggested we dress up on Halloween and maybe go to a community party. Well, I had just got home from a 3 day trip and kind of wanted to stay home for the weekend, BUT I also wanted to dress up. 

We decided to dress up and stay home. So we carved pumpkins (ones we grew over the summer) during the day and in the after noon we both dressed up as vampires. I like the dark clothes and light skin vampire look. The clothes are from my closet, and I was stoked I could wear these heels, even if it was only for a few minutes. I got these shoes right before I broke my leg. I haven't been wearing a bunch of high heels since then and I have never worn these since I broke my leg. So Yeah!


I did my eyes in shades of back and deep pinks and a shimmery pink on top. I chose jewelry that is not silver and looks kind of old. I think the overall look was pretty good!


I waned to include this picture for two reasons. 

1) You can really see the color of my hair in this picture and I am loving this color. I do it myself and am so proud that the color is so great. I went to many hair dressers who could never seem to get the color right so a few years ago, I started experimenting with color myself. Now I do it once every 6 weeks or so. 
2) The difference between this picture and the two before it is not time of day or light outside. It is the result of turning the flash off. I totally thought I needed a flash because it was dusk, no sun out at all. But the reality was that the flash was changing the picture quite a bit. 

Okie dokie, that's all for today. :)  

I hope you indulge in things that make you happy and that are fun for you! 

Hugs!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Wall Painting

Mural in my Guest Room

Several years ago, I decided to paint a wall in our guest room as a huge nebula. Through a discussion with my husband in which he encouraged me to try something new, I decided this would be fun and new and challenging. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, really. 

When I started painting it, I figured it would take me a month or two. But that estimate was based on pure guess since I had never painted anything anywhere near this big. 

I started with colors first and covered almost the entire wall with various colors and tons of layers. These steps took months, like 4 months. Because I have painted many nebula before this, I knew that the layering of the colors would take some time. To really get the cloudy effect of a nebula, I used a sea sponge and layer after layer of color, often using different hues of the same color. 

The next step was the black. I learned after painting nebula for a bit that if I start with black and then try to cover it with color, the color never was very vibrant or bright. So I started beginning with color and then adding the black. It really worked for me. The colors are more bold this way and made it so I could really decide the shape of the nebula. With the mural, I had a hard time deciding how much of the edges of the wall should be black. I knew I did not want the whole wall to be color with a little bit of black, but I wanted to have a lot of explosions of color. I started at the edges with black and moved the black in until I liked the look of each section. Then I went through and added black in the center areas. The whole black process took 2 months or so.

The last step was to add the starts. It is hard to see in the picture above that there are hundreds of stars on the wall. I used white, pink, and green and used a few different small paint brushes to add a plethora of stars. That took me a month or so. I love this part of painting nebula; it seems to me that when I add the stars, the painting comes to life. :)

This painting was difficult in that it was so big I felt I could see every tiny part I didn't like, which made me continue to paint things over and over. In the end, I learned a lot about color, layers, my tools, and myself. I wanted to give up so many times and just repaint the wall white, but I did not. I just kept going back to it and with time, energy, effort, persistence, and determination, I finished it!

And I Love It!!!!

Hug!!



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

One of My Favorite Nebula Paintings

Center Nebula

This was one of the first nebula paintings I did that was not a whole canvas nebula. I was thinking that it would be interesting to paint a small part of a nebula instead of a larger view.  When I started painting and for probably 15 years after, I only painted nebula. I am really in awe of nebula, and to me, they represent how I believe life works. A nebula is the left over gases from a star dying. But then it becomes the material that forms new stars and planets. Kind of a death and reincarnation of sorts. This has intrigued me from the moment I learned about nebula so I used to  paint them exclusive.

I love how this painting turned out. It is cloudy and spontaneous and lovely. As with many of my paintings, this has many layers and took a couple of weeks to finish.

The following are some of the stages of this painting. There were many more steps; unfortunately, I did not document every step.  As you can see, the painting takes shape over time.



I really don't have a clear idea of what the painting will look like before I start a nebula. Other paintings I have done with a certain subject in mind are often formed overall in my head even before I start painting, but it has never been that way while painting nebula. I may have a thought about color or a concept yet the nebula paintings have always evolved one their own as I paint them. I learned early on not to fight what the canvas and paints want because it always turns out unsatisfactory to me. If I let go and let the paints and colors and shapes guide me, I end up loving the end result.


 So what do you think? Do you do something that takes many steps to get it right? 

Please, share about your hobbies and the time, energy, effort, persistence, and dedication you put into doing it well!!

HUGS!!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Doggy Coat




Since my last post was about my cats, I thought I would make this one about my dog; well, related to my dog. Several months ago, I made my dog a coat. As I have stated in a couple of past posts, I am learning to sew, and this is one of the projects in my book. The pattern in the book was for a small dog so I had to alter the coat for my dog who is pretty big, about 75-80 lbs.

The outside is a canvas camo fabric that I recycled from old curtains I made and didn't like. The inside of the coat is a purple fleece fabric that was left over from a coat I made for myself. Buddy, my dog, seemed to like it, and he seemed willing to leave it on until I took it off of him.

I made this for him a year or so ago and didn't think he would ever want or need to wear it. Now he is 9 years old, I can see that in the near future, he might enjoy it help him deal with joint pain. We'll see. :) Nonetheless, I enjoyed making it, and  I learned a few new things while making it, as I do with every project from this book.

This picture isn't great, but it shows the purple fleece on the inside. :)


Side view 


Front view

The coat has two straps, one in the front and on his chest right past his front legs. they are secured with Velcro strips. I totally did not think the Velcro strips  would hold, but hey really did. He laid down, and they did not come apart. I chose the camo outside because Buddy is our hunting dog, so, of course, his clothes should be camo and the inside color is because I love purple and fleece. 

I thought it was kind of a ridiculous project when I first saw it, but as I stated, I learned something about sewing and was able to prove myself wrong about something, the dog liking the coat. Sewing is an interesting hobby in that it ultimately produces a product of cloth but really does so much more. It is about follow through, precision, learning in a many, many step  process, dedication, pride: really, the list could go on and on. 

Thanks for reading! 

Hugs!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Love Cats :)

 This is Cesar; he's 5.

What can I say? I really love cats! Most of my life has involved a cat or two or more.  Right, now I have 4 cats and had, at one time, 9 cats. No, I am not a crazy cat lady. We have 4 cats now because we live in  the country with about an acre of land, and they are excellent pest control. We had 9 at one time because, at the time, we owned 3 cats and then found a litter of 6 abandoned and abused kittens that we nursed back to health and found home for 4 of them. Yes, we kept 2. :)

Don't get me wrong, I do love dogs, (I have two dogs) but I have always just had a thing for cats. For several years of my young childhood, my first cat, Butterscotch, slept in my bed, under the covers with his head on a pillow, like a small furry baby.  I sooo loved that cat!!  Although I think that having a slightly unstable family led me to get a great deal of comfort from that cat and many after him, so my affection for this particular animal is definitely biased.

Luther, he's 9

Right now while I am trying to write this, Cesar is trying to worm his way onto my lap, where my laptop is, of course, because he is a cat. This is one of the things I love about cats, their insistence to live their lives how they want to regardless of what others want. In return, they give an enormous amount of companionship and some even let you cuddled them. :)

Rocky; he's 11

I am in the process of planning when to get a new kitten. Yes, I know, I already have 4 cats, but 3 out of my 4 cats are close to useless when it comes to killing vermin. So, I was going to get one a few months ago, but I lost 2 cats in the last 5 months to something in the wild, a bear, bobcat, raccoon, something.  I am a little apprehensive about getting a kitten right now. But soon, our household will have one more cat. :)

Toni; she's 7

The pictures in this post are the cats we have now.  The first two, Cesar and Luther, are our newest additions. These were my husband's dad's cats. We adopted them when my husband's dad could no longer care for them. It was the first time I have gotten cats that were so old already. The oldest cat we had adopted before them was one year old. They took some time getting used to their new life but have become happy members of our pet family. However, these two were declawed (no, not by me) and they are not a great additions to the pest control team

Rocky is our old guy that we have had since he was a kitten. Oddly, he was the runt of the litter yet turned out the be a giant cat. His head is the size of a softball and he weighs 20 pounds, and no, its not fat, he's just huge. And he kicks ass! I have seen some gnarly cuts from fights on this cat. But a sweet, sweet cat, a giant teddy bear to people. He used to be a super hunter in his younger years, and I know he still hunts a little, but he is really not helping the pest control much.

The last picture is Toni, the only female cat in the house right now, and she is bat shit crazy. Yes, you read that right. She really is! I love her, don't get me wrong. She is one of the kittens we found abandoned in a field by our local lake. Some one had burnt their whiskers and cut their ears, and then left them in a hot field to die. My husband went there with our dog and found them. They were tiny and messed up. We were able to get all of them back to good health and kept 2 of them. One died of FHP a year later,  Toni survived and has been around ever since, but she is super kiddish and fearful of people. I do not blame her but she is really more like a feral than a house cat. We do get to pet and pick her up occasionally, which we try to do as much as she'll let us to keep trying to prove that not all people are bad.  On the very positive side, Toni is a killer. She is fast, small, stealthy, and camouflaged which is a truly lethal combo. The lead and mainly only pest control cat we have now. 

So what are your thoughts and/or feelings about cats? Seems like ,many people have strong feelings about cats, one way or the other, and I'd love to hear what you have to say. 

Love a cat!

Hugs!

  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Body Painting - Claw Feet


Over the years, I have tried to challenge myself in my painting. Although I have done a few different kinds of paintings over the years, I still have a hard time trying something new. But for this painting, I was ready to break out of my usual mold of only painting nebula.

I took about 6 feet of butcher paper and laid it out on the ground. Then I took acrylic paint and covered the most of the front of my body with several colors of paint. I wore only underwear. I thought about doing it nude, but acrylic paint dries like plastic. I did not want to try to get that out of my pubic hair.

Once I liked the color blend on my body. I laid down on the paper with my hands up at the sides of my shoulders. Since my arms were not painted, there were not any arm impressions. When I got up, I saw that the impressions my shins made oddly looked like I had claw feet. Although I made several body paintings that day, this is my favorite. Its odd and interesting, and I am very happy I decided to try something new that day.

So what do you think of this painting?

Thank you so much for stopping by! Leave a thought in the comments section.

Hugs!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Beginnings of My New Quilt



I have mentioned before that I am using a book called Sew Everything Workshop to learn how to sew, and in this book, there are 26 projects at the the end at 3 levels of difficulty. I am currently on the last few projects in level 2. One being this quilt. 


The first step was this- cutting out 30 11" x 11" pieces of cotton quilting fabric. I used fabric I have saved over time. Some fabric I got from my mom, and those are from when she made a quilt and bird cage cover for me when I was 8. Yes, that fabric is 35 years old. Other fabrics are from other projects I have done from the above mentioned book. A few fabrics I bought recently with intentions of using them in some project.

After several re-configurations, I decided on this (so far). It is always hard for me to commit to one of the configurations because I often think there could be a better pattern or a pattern I will like better later.

The next step, which I have just started, is to sew the pieces together in horizontal rows. This is where I messed up my last quilt. I did not know what a seam allowances was back then (which is how far from the edge of the fabric you put your stitching, or seam.)  So I just sewed the pieces together and them sewed the rows together. Here is that quilt:


It looks a little wonky, doesn't it? In this picture, I can't see exactly where the pieces don't fit right like I can in real life, but I can totally see that it doesn't look uniform, symmetrical.  

With the quilt I am working on now, I am really paying attention to sewing all the pieces together in an uniform way, with the same seam allowance on all of them. I finished sewing the first two rows and they line up!! YEAH! I only have to do that 3 more times, which is awesome because it provides me with practice, really deliberate practice of making even seam allowances. 

I am excited to see how this all turns out! I will keep you updated on the quilt as I go along. :)

Hobbies anyone??  What do you do? For fun or challenge?

HUGS!!!!!


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Birthday Painting




I painted this recently and gave it to my husband for his birthday last weekend. It turned out fairly well.  Above are three of the stages of this painting, but it definitely had more stages than that. Overall, there were about seven stages to this painting: 

1- painting white and yellow center
2- painting orange/red side
3- painting green/blue side
4- drawing out branches and birds
5- painting black branches
6- painting birds
7- painting birds again

All of the paintings that I do are done in stages. Sometimes I have an idea of what those stages will be like this painting but not always. The paintings usually evolve as I paint them because I do not always have a clear idea of what the painting is going to be.

I enjoyed doing this painting because it is unlike anything I have done before. I used brushes for this painting unlike the painting in the first painting post I did last week. I used natural sea sponges for that one. It has only been a year that I have been using brushes in painting, and it has been a difficult and wonderful experience. It felt soooo awkward at first yet over time, I have seen how many more things I can do having more tools in my painting tool kit.

Have you ever painted or wanted to?

I suggest you give it a try. Even if you are not very good, it is an enjoyable, relaxing process, and with practice, you can get better!!

Hugs!!!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

I Sewed a Couple Pouches yet Got More

Image result for practice
 Here are a couple of zippered pouches I made in order to practice putting in a zipper. I have made several more since then and have gotten better over time. The blue one on the left was the first one I made, and if you look closely at the top of the zipper, it sticks out and is not suppose to. So I made the next one which is the pink one on the bottom and did a little better job.

I made the first one because it was a project in the book I mentioned in the last post. But I found out that I like these little bags very much and have found many uses for them which led me to make more. The two mentioned above, I made for my husband for his pencils; he loves having sharp pencils with him and these are their carrying bags. I have one in my purse with aspirin and the like in it (the one in the middle). I have one in my make up bag that holds my mascara and eye pencils and such. I think I have a made a few more but can't recall what for.

Many of the projects I have been sewing from the book I am using to learn to sew have become more than a simple project; they showed themselves to be steps I needed to take to learn new skills that will hopefully transfer to new projects in the future.

What do you do to learn new skills??




Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sewing Beginnings


In the summer of 2012, I decided to take up sewing. The only thing I really knew a bit about was making a quilt because my mom and her mom, my grandma, and my dad's mom. my other grandma made quilts. I have had and seen many a quilt made and for some reason thought I should start learning to sew by making a quilt. I used fabric we already had and were either left overs from another project (like recovering stools, making pillow cases) and old clothes I kept because I liked the fabric (my husband's old silk boxers, a pair of shorts I bought in Japan, a shirt I loved that got old). To that, I added other fabrics I had collected over the years. But mostly, its made from the fabric of our 20 + years at that point. The edge and backing is an old sheet we had which is a grey flannel material.

As you can see if you look closely, I did not have all the skills necessary to make a really good quilt. The rows and columns do not match up perfectly and the grey edging that folded over from the back is not symmetrical around all the edges.

Yet, I really enjoyed doing it and learned a lot about fabrics and how they sew. I learned that different fabrics require different tensions while sewing and that putting together different fabrics in one stitch is very difficult for a new sewer.  With all the difficulties I had while making this quilt, I love it and appreciate its imperfections. Doing this quilt showed me what I know about sewing and what I had to learn, which I discovered was a lot.

Since this time in 2012, I bought a book to teach myself to sew and have completed many projects from that book. It is called Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp. I love this book and have been learning tons every since! If you want to learn to sew, I highly recommend this book.

So that is the beginning of my sewing journey. I will continue to share with you the things I have made over the last three years. Hope you continue to come back and share this journey with me!!

Thanks for coming by! HUGS!!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

What I Love - Painting #1


About 20 years ago, a friend of mine started painting, and I thought that it looked like fun. So I started to paint and found that I love painting nebulae. I have done many paintings over the years which I will share with you in future posts. The painting above was done over 8 years ago. My husband is a wood worker, and he made the frame for me so I could enter this painting into a local showing and competition. It is called "Tangerine Swirl". I think this painting got an admirable mention in the art show.

I do really like this painting yet I can see I have evolved since painting this one. I am teaching painting for the second year now and have learned so much about painting.  Before I was teaching painting, I rarely used a paint brush opting for natural sea sponges to paint the nebulae. Now I often paint with my students, and they use brushes so I have been using brushes exclusively.

But for this painting, I used natural sea sponges and my fingers to create this look. I really like using both of these tools to get the cloudy look that a real nebula has in space. There is something about getting my hands dirty while painting that is truly satisfying.

Okay I hope you enjoyed this new twist on my blog. I am excited about sharing with you all of the things that I love. I kind of hope it will inspire you to do what you love and share it here with the other people who visit this blog!

Hugs!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

New Direction

Image result for new direction

After many posts about my mental health and the direction my life has taken and the reasons why, I have decided that it is time to do what the title of my blog says and that is "Getting to Me." So I am going to take this blog into a new direction for now.

For now at least, I am going to be writing posts about the things I love and what makes me me. For example, I love to read and am an avid fiction reader. I plan to share with y'all the books I've read and my thoughts about reading, etc. I also love painting. I teach a painting class and paint myself so it would be cool to show you what I do and what inspires me, etc.

My hope it that I will inspire others to find what they love and go for it. I know I still have a lot of growth in this area, but I am done talking about the how and the why and just do it.

I hope you are willing to go on this new journey with me!

Love yourself and share what you love!

HUGS!!!

Image result for hugs


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fashion - To Do or Not to Do? Or . . . .

Image result for fashion

I recently went to a dinner party with new people, and I considered before hand what I should wear that would make me feel pretty and comfortable enough for several hours. I chose to wear a sort of fifties style dress and purple flats. I have several dresses I could have chosen from yet the one I chose I felt the prettiest in and flattered my shape.

Over the years, I have stated that I am not that into fashion. Yet in the last few years, I have been trying to think more about the body I have at the moment and dressing that body. I have only gotten some items here and there that I think are flattering to my bigger size, mostly because I keep waiting to have the body I want to then maintain and buy cute clothes for.

So the truth is that I like fashion and enjoy looking good in my clothes. I just avoid it because I think I am too fat and do not want to waste money buying nice clothes until I lose weight.

Thus the question of to do fashion or to not do fashion is not the real issue;  the real issue is my unwillingness to lose the weight once and for all. Even though I lost many pounds 12 years ago or so and maintained it for a few years, I never truly committed to losing the weight  and keeping it off.

As I stated in another recent post, I have been going up and down in my weight for at least 8 years now and have not yet committed to treating myself well and losing the weight. Which is another layer down to the truth. So, basically,  I ignore and avoid it, even though I know it would help me feel better, feel healthier, feel sexier, which in turn would help my sex life, which could help my relationship, which would make life better all around.

Soooooo where does that come from? Anger and hurt about shit that happened when I was a kid that I learned to ignore and avoid. Learning to ignore and avoid the shit that was happening in my family taught me that I could ignore and avoid and still "do Life" so I started to ignore and avoid much more mundane things in daily life. That ignoring and avoiding has spread around, and I can do it well.

My end conclusion about whether or not to involve myself in fashion is that its not about fashion.  Its about me not ignoring and avoiding my shit, i.e. the things I want for myself that will lead to the life I want.

Hence, I gotta take care of my shit! :)

Take care of your shit and I surmise (since I don't really do it), life will be  better.

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Hugs!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Body Talk

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(No this is not me just a great visual.)



Hi all! Been gone for a bit. Hope all of you are well and in good spirits!!

I thought I'd give a short update on how my diet has been going. To recap quickly, I wanted to lose some weigh before I went on a family trip, mainly so I could fit in my clothes, but also for general over body health and self- image. I've been about 30 Lbs. over my goal weight for a while.

So before we left on our trip, I lost 8 pounds and was feeling happier with my body and definitely more comfortable in my clothes. :) I figured on the trip I might gain some weight but planned to not overindulge a lot. To that end, I did so-so. I gained 6 pounds while on vacation.

Since I've been back, I have lost 3 pounds.

This all sounds a little confusing. So to quote one of my favorite movies "Evolution" I am going "to take these snakes and lay them out all straight" for ya. :)

July 2- 178.6 lbs
July 13- 170.6 lbs
July 26- 176.1
August 4 173.3

This yo-yo-ing of my weight is not new. I have lost the same pounds over and over, i.e. going from 178 to 170, and back up to 178, and down to 170.  In the last year, I must have lost those same pounds 6 or 7 times.

I was able to lose the 8 pounds before we left by tracking my carbs and sharing my ups and downs on the scale with my husband. Talking about my carb intake and what the scale said each day really helped to keep me on track.  I am starting back with that today.

What I still need to be looking at are the reasons I have allowed myself to go through this crazy weight roller coast for so many years. That will be a post for the future but something I wanted to mention here because it is very relevant in my weight lose process.

Okay so that's where I am at right now, 173.3 lbs. My goal is 145 lbs. which in the healthy range for my height, 5'8".

How do you all deal with weight? Do you go up and down like me or maintain a healthy weight?

Thanks for stopping by!! Hugs!!



Saturday, July 11, 2015

Its Not Weird, Its Just Uncommon


Nadine and I were going to go to the movies recently and then wanted to go run some errands afterwards, but we realized we needed to plan what we were going to do for lunch. We have been on a low carb diet, and it had been going really well; neither of us wanted to break to weight loss streak by eating out at a high carb place. I looked around at the carb content of some of our favorite restaurant foods, and we came to the conclusion we should just bring a little cooler with us filled with the foods we have been eating at lunch during this diet.

I packed us a lunch and off we went to watch the movie. We saw Terminator: Genysis. (It was really good, BTY, especially if you have seen all the other Terminator movies, which we had.) After the movie, we had planned to go to the mall right near the movie theater so we got in the car and drove to the parking structure to get some shade for our lunch. We started to eat our lunch in our car, in a parking structure, and I turned to Nadine and stated that what we were doing was weird. She said something that I have been thinking about every since; she said, "It's not weird; it's just uncommon." Right, it wasn't weird, but it was uncommon to us. We had never eaten a cooler packed lunch in a parking structure. But was there anything weird about it? No, it was just something I had not done before.

As I said, this statement has had me thinking about me in general. I sometimes don't want to do something yet can't really explain to myself as to why. It seems foreign to me thus I don't really want to do it. Yet in my mind, I feel like I am being rational and offer up what seem like solid reasons why I do not want to do something new, which is essentially weird to me.

This is where I think I need practice in using my new brain (if this phrase doesn't make sense, you can go to this post and read what I am talking about) to place some logic into my life situations. After writing the paragraph above, I can really see that stressful emotions very often interfere with my decision making process.

Doing something new does not make it weird, per se; it just is uncommon. I find a lot of comfort in thinking things are just uncommon, instead of thinking they are weird. Why? I do not know. I just know that an emotional response comes up when I think of something I am doing is weird, but no emotions come up when I think I am doing something uncommon . It seems to me that if I use my new brain to roll around ideas that I have a better chance at succeeding, In other words, if I can be objective and consider things like something is uncommon, instead of weird I might be able to succeed at it trying it, doing it, doing well at it, etc.

Being subjective in my daily life often leads me to be closed off and a wall flower, two things I do not like being and are really against me being the best person I can be. Letting my middle brain control my decision making process, i.e. being subjective (by that I mean this dictionary definition- based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions) only causes me strife. This does not mean that I shouldn't feel emotions or never use my emotions to assist in making decisions, It means I should not let ONLY my emotions make decisions for me. 

Okay that was a long post, huh?! I have written about emotions before and will continue to do so as I struggle with the fight I have set up in my brain between the new and the middle brain (and sometimes the old, primal brain). I figure if I struggle with this others must, too. 

Consider the source of your decisions. It might lead you to some uncommon, better ways of thinking!!  :) 

HUGS!!!! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

My Food Baby AKA My Tummy

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I am not sure how much I have written about food and my relationship with food. I think I briefly touched on it here and there. Basically, I use food as a comforting tool. If I feel sad or stressed out, I turn to food, have since I was young. And its usually foods that are not healthy, like cheese burgers, fries, chips, bread, sweets. I also love a good meal with tons of carbs, like fettuccine alfredo, pizza and bread sticks, fried calamari, deli sandwiches; you get the picture.

Well, having indulged in this for many years and going back and forth in weight for as many years, I have a fat tummy, which I like to affectionately call my food baby. Well, I am getting sick of my food baby, and it constantly getting smaller and bigger. So I started back on the diet I know works for me (Atkins) and am beginning the process of losing weight again.

One major thing that has prompted me to start again is that we are going on a trip back East to visit family and bury my husband's father. We leave in a little over a week, and I do not fit into many of my clothes. That's a problem.

Also, I would like to have some foods that are not on my diet while I am there and know that if I do not do anything about my weight now, I will only gain more weight while on vacation. And that will only make my food baby bigger, and it will be harder to fit in my clothes.

So my challenge is to face the feelings I have inside about feeling a "need' to eat crap to soothe myself. Yesterday was the first day of the diet, and I did well. Today, I needed to go to town to go food shopping. That was a little difficult because my local Target and supermarket make and sell food so they both smell like food, yummy foods like pizza and fried chicken, and bread and cookies and . . . well you get the point.  All throughout both stores, I had to continually remind myself that I wanted to lose my food baby more than I wanted to eat the foods I was smelling, or more than I wanted to buy something that was full of carbs.

It seems to me that change requires a constant reminder to one's self that you want the change and why you want the change, and I do mean constantly. The reason for the constant-ness of this reminder is that human are creatures of habit, and those habits hold on hard unless they are fought against with inner reasons why change is wanted.

I am no master of this process; in fact, I would say I am quite a failure at this for any long periods of time. Yet I am trying it again. This time, I am working hard to not let any of the usual excuses leak through and get me to do something against my goal.


How do you deal with change? Do you avoid it (like I often do) or face it head on?

I am so appreciative of all of you who come here and read my thoughts. :)

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, too!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Puppy Update

Buddy and Indy Swimming in Lake

Indy After the Lake

I am so in love with my dogs! No, I'm not a crazy dog person yet it is so fun and joyful to be with them and see them interact with each other. I have so loved having our first dog, Buddy. It was an amazing experience to have my own dog. Before him, I had a family dog but not one that was mine. Also, I had a small fear of big dogs. And Buddy got to be a big dog. He is 75 to 80 pounds and  just over all a big dog. But he has the heart of a teddy bear, a giant teddy bear. This loving, big dog changed my whole perspective on dogs, all dogs really. He showed me how loyal, loving, compassionate and fun dogs really are, and he won my heart. 

Yet having two dogs is even more than that. They are definitely different personality wise. Buddy is way more submissive and Indy is more dominant. Of course, Indy is a puppy, which makes him a bundle of energy and play. Buddy is 9+ years old and is trained as a hunting dog. He is much more mellow and focused on retrieving, sleeping, swimming, and resting. Their differences have made me really appreciate them both so much for whom they are and what they give me and others.

I was very apprehensive about having two dogs at the same time, yet it has been, and I am sure will continue to be, a rewarding experience. Being able to love and care for a dog can be a life altering experience and for me, that is truly what it has been. I look forward to the future with both of our dogs and can't wait to see how the little guy grows and continues to change our lives.

Indy, our puppy, will be going to hunting school tomorrow and will be gone for 3 to 6 months, and I will dearly miss him. But I am so excited to see what he learns and what kind of hunter he will turn out to be in the end. Its hard to do what is best for our pets, but after having sent Buddy to hunting school, I know this is the best choice for Indy and that he will be all the better for it.

Love your pets! Let them love you back! Remember to enjoy as many moments with them as you can as they won't be around forever. :)

Hugs!