Make it stop. Sign up. Get the kit. Now.


Our bracelets are coming in the mail.

Frustration is the Mother of Invention

Ok, so I finally got tired of futzing around with the old theme. It wasn’t mine, I had found it on the internet as a free download and thought I would try on a magazine layout. And while it was a nice theme, it had more complexities than I had cranial capacity to handle. Lesson learned: Make your own. I mean, really, I kinda do this for a living so I should know better.

Things have been really busy the past few months. College, clients (God love them) and homeschooling have taken up most of my waking moments. We have had a few bouts of illness here and there, mostly dependent on how thick the yellow pollen film is on our cars outside and whether or not we have each mutated the germs and recycled them back to each other.

Friends that do not normally have allergies have been suffering from them this year and I don’t know that it is going to get better. We had a harsh winter, the temperatures dropping to way below freezing on several occasions, so Mother Nature seems to be working overtime to make up for it.

Things are warming up, no cool reprieves, and I am not really looking forward to it. My days of enjoying the beach are gone almost completely; the sound of the surf lapping at the sand, the sun warm overhead as the salt spray hitches a ride on the incoming breezes. I can head out at dawn for some beachcombing but as soon as it starts to get hot I have to vacate as, with my lymphatic system not working, it makes it uncomfortable at best. There are still shade trees and pavilions in the park though and I am looking forward to a day outside this weekend.

A friend of mine from the museum has asked me to partner with her as a mentor to high school-aged creatives here locally. The group, YASO (Young Artist’s Society of Ocala), is having its first event this Saturday. In conjunction with Tom’s ShoesOne Day Without Shoes event that ran today, YASO is doing Barefoot in the Park. Combination cookout, play date, and shoe drive for Soles4Souls, Barefoot should be a lot of fun. I am going to be doing some fake henna (read brown liquid eyeliner) on people vs face painting, we have a few teens bringing their acoustic guitars, and there will be board games and other activities. Mostly it is a day to share the fresh air and remind each other that it is our responsibility as human beings to look out for those around us and that compassionate giving should be part of our daily lives; we shouldn’t have to wait for Easter, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day to show people that we care. So often we get caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to breathe and it is time we all slowed down a little. Life moves by so quickly as it is.

I took Val to the Latin mass at Queen of Peace here locally on Easter Sunday. I was really impressed. Everyone was so incredibly nice they made us feel right at home; which is saying a lot considering I am not Catholic. The almost three hours (yes you read that right, three) that the Latin mass lasted went by so fast I didn’t notice. The church itself is lovely but the people were what made it such a nice experience. We will be going back regularly starting this weekend but for different reasons.

Val, aside from being obscenely fluent in Latin, was trained in Tridentine mass when he lived in Arizona. As soon as our new friends found out he got swarmed, happily, and it was nice to see how bright it made him smile. He really missed doing it and I am looking forward to watching my gargoyle in action. If you are reading, thank you to all of you for making our first visit such a warm and inviting one. See you Sunday!

I need to revamped my sleeping schedule. It has gotten totally out-of-whack lately, as my mother would say. Speaking of which, 3am, that’s my cue…

Unconscionable. Lend your support!

Earlier this year, the day before Valentine’s Day, we did a fundraiser involving Soles4Souls. I just read this article on their website and my jaw is still on the floor…


After reading the article I looked for updates and ultimately decided someone had to do something about this. So I went to the top.

Write a letter to the White House with a link to the article and tell them you feel something needs to be done.

Still in shock. Outraged.

Update: 0329.10 No updates posted to Soles4Souls on this.Spoke to one of their representatives and found out that not only are they holding the shoes but the truck as well. There aren’t any news feeds out yet because they are still working out how best to handle the situation. There is a definite sense of sadness and confusion as they had never had issues before.

Still tweaking

Decided I needed a change that reflected more of my work, old and new. Though I have quite a bit posted to Flickr, I have well over 500 designs that have not even been scanned or photographed as well as new work that I have created in recent days. I normally build my own themes but decided to try one I found online; still trying to get the thumbnails to show but I like it otherwise. A work-in-progress, the site will go through growing stages over the next few days but you will see some new things here and there.

The key to happiness

A fortune cookie that I was once given imparted the most profound knowledge: “If you cannot be happy with what you have, how can you be happy with more?” There is so much truth in that.

This time of year, and always, I am thankful for so many things…

Despite bad health, I am still alive, vertical, and living life in a full way. I have a beautiful little girl who is the love of my life, my best friend, and my muse. We have a roof over our heads and food on the table. I am back in college after a way-too-long hiatus, am working on my BFA before pursuing a Masters, and am enjoying it. I have been blessed with a boyfriend who adores me for who I am, supports me in all that I do, and helps me cook even if he has had a tiring day, doesn’t mind doing dishes and other things to help me around the house, and who goes out of his way to make me laugh. I have an ex-husband who is a good dad, adores our daughter, and who considers me his closest and dearest friend.

Life is pretty damn good.

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.”
– James Oppenheim, novelist, poet

We often pray for change, for things we want, for things we think we need, but how often do we just sit back and think of all the things around us that we already have in our lives? Not as much as we probably should.

“Most discontent grows from want.” Basing your quality of life around desire is a never-ending well. No matter how much you pour into it, it grows deeper and deeper and you can never fill that.

Society keeps upping the ante, but keep in mind that the newest trends will soon become old ones. Things change so fast and we get caught up in the “must-have” motions. Wait it out and see if it is something you still need in a month. If it is something you really want, clip the page out of the magazine and put it in a file, on a corkboard or on the fridge. Look at it in a week, two weeks. Do you still want it? If you still want it after 30 days then it is probably legitimate and you can go for it without the guilt of a quick buy.

Once you can truly appreciate what you have, you will find you are probably luckier than most. You will also find yourself in a better position mentally to enable yourself to reach out and lift as you climb.

I never really grasped the full meaning of “the best way to help others is to help yourself” until I starting doing volunteer work full-time. It always sounded so selfish when I heard other people saying it but I wasn’t really looking at it the right way. Helping others, taking the time to do a good deed, it may seem small to you but it means so much. It gives people hope in humanity, something we all need these days, and it is so very easy to do. The feeling you get from it is so fulfilling and, making that small attitude a way of life, is life-altering.

No matter what happens in the end, it is the view on the ride along the way that makes everything worth living for.

Inspired by SparkPeople’s Daily Spark.