Monday, December 31, 2012

Celebrating 2012

2012

You brought a lot to my life.

Amazing changes and experiences.

Before jumping into 2013, I wanted to look back and appreciate all that 2012 contained. 

The joyful, the bittersweet, the beautiful, the challenging, the celebrating...

Here is a month by month reflection... so many images to choose from!














2013 ~ What adventures await?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Beginnings...



Merry Solstice to you!

Wishing you many blessings and much 
light for the coming age.

I'd also like to share with you a Mayan story of Solstice 2012. 

It is not the end. 

Far from it. 

It is just the beginning.

Watch the trailer here:


Then visit their website for the full story and see the entire film.

http://www.shiftoftheages.com/
http://www.shiftoftheages.com/watch-now/

What dreams do you wish to bring to light?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Close Up

The painting I'm working on at the moment is so exactly indicative of my life right now.  


It's a mish-mash of colors and ideas and images. But not feeling very cohesive. There are spots of absolute beauty and clarity. I know exactly what it needs. What it's trying to tell me. Other areas are just a mess, not feeling connected to the rest of the painting, awaiting insight which seems fleeting at best.

Like my painting I feel a jumble of colors and emotions. Both as I've worked on this painting and in life in general. Cranky one minute, content the next. Amazed at the progress I've made this year. Then suddenly feeling adrift and directionless. I watch the emotions flow in and out.

I find myself walking away from the painting again and again. Making another cup of tea. Staring out the window. Distracting myself in various ways, not able to sit with the discomfort of this moment.

There is something just below the surface. Or several things. I feel them. All awaiting expression. Or release.

But I also feel so very very very stuck.

The painting. And me.

Sigh.

Deep breath.

This is part of the process. Of painting. Of life. But boy oh boy, sometimes the murkiness feels stronger than the light.

It's the time of year when days are shortest (at least for those of us up here in the northern hemisphere). There is more darkness and the shadows are long and deep. It's the time of year for going within. For seeing what hides in the shadows of our own lives. What needs to be culled out. What needs to be nurtured. What needs more space for expansion. But it's not really the time to act. That will come later, with the return of longer days and more sunshine.

Right now? Going within is exactly what we're "supposed" to be doing. Do I feel myself resisting? Most definitely. 

Deep down, I know there is such beauty to be revealed by this process. If only I could surrender. Give in to this energy and let it happen. I am acutely aware of some areas in my life that need attention. It's not that I'm blind or ignoring them. I'm just not sure what kind of attention they need. And so the resistance builds. My head takes over wanting to "figure it all out." Where perhaps it would be better if I just listened. Letting my heart lead the way. 

And so the internal struggle wages on.

In the meantime? 

I'm honoring the resistance. 

Holding the space for whatever it is that is stirring deep down. 

Trusting.

And having another cup of tea.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Gift



This photo has always been one of my favorites. My son Ian and I, walking down our road, he was barely two. Walking side by side, but off in our own individual thoughts and worlds. He not needing to hold my hand, me not concerned about his safety. Both of us confident in each others presence. Independent yet together. This very much defines our relationship to this day. 

Eight years ago today was the most beautiful and yet traumatic day of my life. He arrived one month early, already demonstrating his strong-willed and independent spirit. Doing things his way. On his time. It could be the red hair. Or what ended up being his Scorpio nature. Or, more likely, a set of genes from parents who are very much the same way. 

But his early arrival also altered any neat and tidy plans written out months before by me. Instead of a home birth, all natural of course, we experienced instead an emergency C-section, the first of two emergency surgeries for him, and 99 days of hospital life. He would not come home until February.  

Those three months carried so many emotions. Joy. Despair. Grief. Hope. An immense letting go of any control I thought I had over my life and how it would go. A huge awakening too. But that perspective would take years to fully appreciate. 

The pain of that experience buried itself deep down into my cells. A grief so profound, so unknowable to me up until that point of my life. It's taken eight years for me to even share these bits and pieces of that time. Reading other women's beautiful birth stories inevitably brought up feelings of resentment, anger, and of being left out of a shared cultural experience. Far from having the natural birth I so envisioned, and because his issues were intestinal, I was able to breastfeed for only one week, depriving me of that connection as well. Issues of the magazine Mothering arrived in my mail box each month (a wonderful gift that exemplified at the time the kind of mother I was going to be) yet instead reminding me of what I was not experiencing, of a group of women that I was not part of, sending me into a deep depression of not being enough. Of somehow failing as a mother. From the very beginning. Before my son could even walk or talk.

It's taken eight years for me to work through this pain, the emotions, the issues of not identifying with motherhood from the start. I am today ~ blessedly ~ able to see Ian's birth as a gift. Of course for having this amazing child being brought into my life, but also that the trauma of how he arrived is also a gift. It cracked me wide open. Raw and exposed. To the pain, but also to the beauty of life.

It woke me up. It reached far in and shook loose all the trapped emotions of not being good enough. In so many ways, not just as a mother. I have been able to heal on so many levels. 

November 16. A magical day. I am so incredibly grateful.

~~~

Happy eighth birthday to my fabulous little red head. You brought to my life more than I ever would have imagined possible. I love you so much.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Breaking Through

This is a sharing that has been a year, maybe a lifetime, in the making. Feeling a bit fragile. But putting it out into the world anyway, because it's time. 

Be gentle please.

~~~

Something, somewhere went wrong. I have no actual memory. But my history has revealed the pieces necessary to understand this. Pieces that, when seen separate, are perhaps not so clear. Yet over time, and with the right amount of reflection and courage? Quite telling. And unsettling.

This past year has been a year of healing. It began here. Dipping my brush into paint. Surrounded by red rocks, the magic of Sedona, and a tribe of sisters. I had no idea. Well. Some idea. But not tangible. Images revealed more than words ever could. A conversation that I was part of that, when sitting down, I knew I didn't want to hear. But there it was. I could ignore it no longer.

I started feeling like a yo yo. Up and down. Pushing away. Examining too close. It all becomes a blurry mess of nothingness. Brief glimpses of clarity. Then pain and disbelief surfacing again. What do I do with this? Where do I go from here? I have no "thing" to hold up to others to say, "See, here, THIS was done." Only a feeling... and a knowing. I put it on a shelf more often than not. Hoping all would be okay. Not needing to actually examine it now that I knew that it was there. Just admitting it existed was enough, right? It seems that it doesn't work that way.

My vagueness here is of course intentional. Out of fear. Layers of shame that I have had to wade through. Glimpsing my younger self. How fragile she was. How misunderstood. Her bravada? A mask of course. So much anger. And hurt.

What was done to me? I don't remember. But I know. I know that it robbed me, at a very young age, of my self-worth. My trust. A healthy sense of who I can be. Of the ability to connect. To relate. To feel. 

Balance was lost. And perspective. For a decade I consumed vast amounts of alcohol, drowning something I had no idea even existed. Boundaries were non-existent. My body was not my own. Pretending to be free and independent. But having no idea how to relate. To feel safe. To share. To feel pleasure. To love.

When I got married, I had such hope that all would be well. That I would have found a safe harbor at last. A place to trust. But even there, still. This unknown thing haunted me. In ways that only now are beginning to be revealed. I had no idea. How powerful. How destructive.

And all the while I presented to my friends, my family, the world, that all was well. How could I not? Yet I know there were signs. My friends and family did see, not knowing either, but knowing that all was not right. But how could I begin to share with others something I didn't understand myself. Something that has no tangible form.

Recently, there's been this low level of chaos in my daily life that has been exhausting me. Nothing dramatic. Small little things. And yet I knew it was trying to tell me something. I had no idea what. If only I could figure it out. If I could crack the code. I could resolve this craziness. It was driving me mad.

Finally, something shifted last week. An insight from my soul sister. A piece of the puzzle clicked into place. That I was still pretending that all was well.

Why is so hard to see, what is trying so hard to be seen?

So I sat down to paint it out. Determined, to give this my full attention. It was time. 

My intention for a painting that had started differently, one with the intention of abundance, transformed itself into one of healing. It was one of the hardest paintings to stay with. To let go. To trust. To not worry about the outcome. To just feel the paint. To caress the canvas in colors and light. To listen to my heart and let it lead me where I needed to finally go.

The process was euphoric. That's the only word that comes to mind. It was that transformative. Love filled me up in the space I created, and held me, even when I walked away in fear, not knowing what to do next. I kept coming back. Just feel the paint on the canvas. Just dive into the mixing of colors. The joy of creating. I walked away many times. But I came back. Again and again.

There is also now, the result of that work. Pure joy to my eyes. This painting? It is by far my most favorite  ever. I have never loved a painting as much as this one. The image itself. An image that did not come from my brain. One that revealed itself slowly, little by little, layer by layer. I adore the colors. The shades of blue. And most of all, I love knowing all that it represents. Healing. Forgiveness. Reclaiming myself, my sexuality. And most of all, Love.

It is a breakthrough painting. A breakthrough moment in my life.

A healing journey that has finally begun.

I am full of gratitude.

For this. For all of you.


Ensemble, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 48"


This post is dedicated to Shauna, Christine, Lauren, and Betsy. You have no idea how much love I have for you, for that conversation, where all I could do was listen, with all my heart. Thank you.

And to Connie. For creating the container. The safest most beautiful container ever. Thank you.


Friday, October 5, 2012

What's On My Easel Today

Today I'm slowing down. Taking a deep breath. Catching up and sorting.

Not easy. Because actually all I really want to do is forge ahead, start new things, shake it up, kick start some change.

Ah. No. Bad idea. At least this much I know.

Ha.

So first off. I finally got around to updating my 43 Paintings page! Yes. Three months later. Did you know I finished this personal challenge of mine over the summer? I DID! Wahoo!! You can check out the final 43 paintings HERE. I'm very proud. Grin. There have been some technical difficulties, but I think they are all sorted out now and the page is all updated and ready to go!

I've also been getting lots of owl "sitings." Three actual ones on a drive home one night. THREE! Very symbolic number. When you see something that third time, it's trying to get your attention. There is a message there. Pay attention!

Did I? Ha. Nope.

But, luckily for me Owl persisted. In pictures. Jewelry. Cards. Yep. Everywhere I "looked" (or was not noticing despite Owl's best efforts).

Last year I had the great fortune to do a Soul Retrieval. (You can learn more about that here.) During the journey, at one point, I experienced the feeling of owl feathers puncturing a drum-like skin that had been stretched tight over my larynx. It was a sensation of piercing through a skin that has been keeping my voice silent and suppressed. Breaking through a barrier. I can't begin to tell you the ways I've kept silent in my life. Afraid to speak up. To be seen. To be heard.

It seems Owl was here to help me find my voice.

A card that has appeared again and again for me this past year has been this one, Deception:


Owl. Right there at the throat. The message of this card is this:

"The great horned owl emerges out from his sacred heart articulating through his voice. The medicine of owl helps ... with clear vision in the darkness as as a guide through to the other side into the light... The idea of deception often elicits deep emotion within, whether another is deceiving you, whether you are deceiving another, or whether you are deceiving yourself. The ... card is here to bring you deeper insight for discovering an issue that has been in hiding."

Each time I keep silent, I deny my true self. I hide, afraid of judgment perhaps. Afraid of what changes might be kicked in gear that I'm not ready for.

The past few weeks, along side all the owl sitings, I've been whirling around in chaos. SO many things and details exhausting me to no end. Self-doubt floods in. Questioning, everything. I've been quite angry at the Universe. So tired. Yet knowing that something was begging for my attention. Something needed shifting. But I didn't know what. And I knew it wasn't a matter of "figuring it out" with my brain. I needed to go within. To quiet the chatter. And listen deeply, to my heart.

Again and again I seem to forget that painting does this for me. It quiets the noise and distractions of the world, of my own scattered mind and helps me to get centered. And so I forget to make time for it. Fortunately, with enough reminders from friends and this time, Owl, I sat myself down in front of the canvas and listened.

I knew I wanted to honor Owl. And this is what appeared.


It's the largest painting I've done on canvas. 3 feet by 4 feet. I thought it would be challenging, going that big. Turns out it wasn't difficult at all. I love painting big!

And as grateful as I am for what came out on canvas, as I took the time to really listen, I am more grateful for the insight I received as a result of going within. And, of course, it wasn't what I expected.

I have never felt, in the past 8 years, that I have been suited for motherhood. I often feel like a deer in the headlights. Wondering what the heck I got myself into. It's hard to admit that out loud. Our culture, I feel, has motherhood up on pedestal. We are responsible for so much. And yet blamed in equal amounts when things go wrong. So to speak up and say, that no, actually, motherhood and I are not always a good fit, is extremely difficult for me.

I know I offer great gifts to my son. He and I have a wonderful relationship. I am so blessed. Yet the profound realization I had is that I have spent much of his life waiting for time to myself - for when he is asleep, or at school, or now, when he is at his dad's. Time to tend to my soul. To my path. My purpose. And I find this shocking. Like I have been doing him this great disservice. That I have not been present as a mother for him. It makes me sad. But I am also honest enough with myself that this has happened because I don't feel like the role of mother has fit me well. That I have been uncomfortable in my own skin. And so it's been easier to focus my gaze elsewhere. I need to honor how I have been feeling, rather than beat myself up for not being "perfect."

When I had this deep insight appear before me, through that painting, I knew, at that moment, that I wanted it to change. I want to be present for my son. I want to really know him. To see him. To be his mom each and every moment I am with him. And so I did. I started immediately. The results were both huge and subtle. I am trying out new ways of being. Of interacting. Of being present. And it has shifted something deep, deep within.

And I am speaking up. Owl has guided me. To say out loud, that motherhood has been a struggle all these years. That I have not been sure it was a good choice for me. But that in doing so, in honoring this very struggle, giving it voice, deceiving myself no longer, I am transforming it. I am opening the way for something to be healed. At last.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Saying YES

Yesterday was one of those days that sucked every last ounce of energy I had out of me. Nothing particular happened. No horrible events, news or catastrophes. 

Well, the cat pee'd on the bed to start the day off. But that seemed like small potatoes in the bigger scope of things.

It was a day where I felt done. Tired. Enough. No more. This ride called being human had worn me out. Not that I was in a space of removing myself from this life. No, nothing like that. But I was just so exhausted of the sameness, the slowness, the conflicting messages of "hard work" vs. "let it unfold," the need to strive and have goals vs. just be and listen to your inner voice, that there are lessons to be learned and the shit will just keep happening until you learn them...  Really? Seriously? Which IS it? Is THIS why we're here on this planet? To navigate again and again through the never-ending layers?

No thanks.

So I called a time out yesterday. Nope. Not gonna buy into ANY of it. I'm just gonna let it suck. Close the curtains, turn off my phone, stay away from the computer, and watch a couple movies. Let the world do what it needs to do but I no longer want to participate.

That was yesterday.

But it felt like I needed to just let go. That my only choice was to throw in the white flag. Surrender to it. Fine. 

Luckily I got a really good night's sleep.

Today started out better. The mood lifted, the muck felt released and purged. Mostly.

So this morning I did what I know deep down inside I need to do (and often forget), I painted.

And I cried. And released some more.

I also asked out loud for help, and wrote it down.

Then I decided - from where or from what depths I have no idea - but I FINALLY felt ready to paint on one of the gi-normous canvases I had bought last spring. Three feet by four feet!!! HUGE in my book! I ripped off the plastic, set up a space for it, and said out loud (partly out of exasperation, partly out of desperation, but also holding onto a sliver of hope)...

"I'm ready to go BIG! You hear me? Ready!!!"

And so I did. 

I started.


I also got a phone call that the short sale on our house was approved. 
It took less than a month!!! 

Miracle?

Perhaps.

Movement forward for sure. 
Some serious "unstuckness" occurring right before my very eyes.

Ok.

Thank you.

I believe.

And I'm gonna keep painting.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mapping My World

Time to share what I've been creating the past couple months.

I feel like I don't make enough time for painting these days. Or that there just doesn't ever seem to be enough time for painting. But I realize I could say that about exercise too. Ha. Yet paintings have been created, retouched, finished, started...they have come into existence! The exercising? Not so much.

Part of me feels that I'm being kept so busy to stay out of my own way. That my Soul, my Gorgeous Deeper Self, is silently guiding to me to the exact right place. But it needs to keep me distracted and busy because otherwise I might steer us wrong. I might take us off into boring old directions. Well-worn paths. Been-there-done-that kind of things. Instead, wild adventures and opportunities are in the making, bigger than I could ever have dreamed up.

Yah. That's what I'm thinking.

In all my busy-ness.  

Sure.

Keep convincing yourself Ms. Indi. Ha!

I am also feeling a bit of a rebellious streak coursing through my veins these days. You see, one of my stories is that I have always been the "good kid," the well-behaved one. The polite one. The one who does her best and sees the silver lining (at least for others if not always for herself). The one who is never late. Who always finishes her homework. Eats her veggies. The compassionate one. The conscientious one. The reliable one. The one who leads by example. Blah blah blah. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make myself out to be super perfect or anything, oh no. I've done plenty of things that my mother never needs to know about. But the word RESPONSIBLE has often been attached to me.

And I'm a bit bored with this.

I want a break. I need to change things up.

I'm ready for some high heels, red lipstick and decadent food. I have no interest at the moment in giving a damn. Self-improve all you want, save the planet, seek enlightenment, be present, find your soul's path, dream your big dreams, create the world you want to live in. 

Whatever.

Give me a glass of wine and a good time.

So. Giving myself permission.

Just so you know.

It might get ugly. Or better. Who knows! Aren't you tempted to join me? 

Mwa ha ha....!!!

~~~

Okay. That being said. On to the paintings.

I got into a dripping phase. Dripping paint down the canvas. Two paintings ended up being defined by these drips. One I shared earlier but I'll share them both here now together.



They have an eerie quality to them. Spooky, yet powerful. I don't know. What do you think?

The other phase that I have gotten into (yes, two paintings count as a phase) are dots . Although I have dabbled with them before in the past.

Dots. Lots of 'em!

I am drawn in a very powerful way to contemporary Aboriginal art from Australia. The works are perhaps described as more representational or symbolic. There is a style that involves many many dots and symbols unique to that culture and place, yet are also universal. Images that represent actual physical locations on Earth and also ethereal places from the Dreamtime. I don't know if I am describing it very well, you can learn more about it here.

And while my dots and symbols are quite different from those in Aboriginal paintings, they are of course from my life and my own experience in the Dreamtime. Through my paintings and my dots, I am mapping out my world.  We'll see what shows up. Or where these maps take me.



This last one? My favorite I've done so far. 

So that's the painting being done. More in the works.

Stay tuned.

~~~

By the way, Happy Birthday to all the FABULOUS Virgo's out there. 
We're a pretty awesome bunch.

I started celebrating over a week ago. And I will be celebrating all weekend. And beyond. I think a month is the minimum for honoring our incredible selves, n'est-ce pas?

So that's the news in Indigo Land.

What's happening with you?


Thursday, September 6, 2012

On the Meaning of Life and a Kick-Ass Pair of Shoes

Getting rather philosophical today. 

All over a pair of shoes.

~

I LOVE these shoes!


They are a bit out of my budget range at the moment. But that's okay. I can be patient.

But I'm a little confused and freaked out.

I mean, come on. For years I drove a vehicle (a beat-up but well-loved Toyota truck) with the bumper stickers "tree hugging dirt worshipper" and "I {heart} Strawbale Houses." I have spent the last two decades immersed in the world of environmental advocacy, sustainable agriculture, permaculture, natural building and eco-living. "Live simply so that others may simply live" has been my motto. Tread lightly on Mother Earth, my spiritual path.

Yet last Sunday I spent over an hour in Nordstroms trying on expensive perfumes and drooling over thousand dollar handbags. Not to mention the shoes.

WTF?

What's happening to me?

Now, a little background here though. I have always loved beautiful things. Well-made, hand-crafted, artisanal items will always get my love. A fabulously arranged table, a tranquil garden, a perfectly decorated room... The graceful curve of a hand-thrown vase, the exquisite brush stroke detail on a canvas... I have always appreciated this side of life.

Consumerism? Greed? Cheaply made products in the name of a bigger profit margin? Material hunger that fills the void of an unexamined life? Not so much.

Yet here I am. Coveting THINGS. Beautiful things. Well-made things, yes. But THINGS.

How can I go from wanting to save the earth to wanting so spend what would be in many parts of this world an entire year's salary on a pair of shoes?

What's going on?

So I've busted out my journal, scribbling fast and furious with all these thoughts pouring out onto the page. I've pulled out the paints and let the canvas and the brush have a visual conversation around these feelings. And I've sat and stared at the stars, listened to the birds in the trees, felt the wind on my face, and savored a hot cup of tea in my hands...

All this, to help me understand this change that is taking place within me.

Why all the angst? Why not just embrace the change and go for it? Well, guilt for one. There are people starving... War and bloodshed... Poverty... Destruction of ecosystems... Exploited and depleted natural resources... I can go on and on. You get my drift.

Yet these perspectives? ~  The simple life. The extravagant life. The impoverished life. Whichever one I see as "right" or "better" or "worse," these are all judgments. Assumptions that one way is prefered over another. Attaching myself to one way over another then implies that I am better for the choices I make. Other choices and other people are wrong. Or for those that are not able to choose, who are dis-empowered, well I can empathize, and advocate, and, well, proselytize. 

Yes. Preach.

Convince others to change what they think. Come over to the other side. Reconsider their choices.

And adhere to a better way. It can be religion, politics, life styles.

But it's all attachment.

All of it.

And so what's wrong with attachment? Isn't there good vs. evil? Rich and poor? Isn't there black and white? Isn't there a great universal moral code handbook that we should all be following? Isn't there a better way we should all subscribe to?

So I ask. Who would write this book? Who would have the authority about what to include or exclude? Would every single culture and inhabitant on this planet have a say about what went in it? Would it be human-centric? What about the animals? Would they get a voice? The trees? And would it change over time? Wouldn't history show us the error of our ways? Wouldn't it need to be updated? How often?

The anthropologist-geek in me sees life through this multi-faceted approach. Wanting to consider the voice of others. How would they describe the same thing I see? How would their perspective differ? How would the lens through which they see the world result in a different set of ethics than my own? 

So how can any one person or group claim the right to decide how others should live?

Whether it's over private property rights or the right to hug trees, how can one group or person be right all the time? Is there a "right" anyway? Will their ever be universal agreement?

These are the thoughts that I am holding up to the light these days.

How in the world do they relate to my new-found desire to buy expensive shoes (you may or may not be asking yourself at this point)?

Personally? I am currently healing a very deep wound around lack. Releasing the old mantra that doing without for the greater cause is my duty. That I deserve no more. That simplicity is the better path. Because I am realizing that simplicity has many definitions, depending on who you ask. That my going without does not in fact lift others up. It's a twisting, winding path. Not straight forward. And hardly simple.

Basically, for me, here's what it boils down to. I am one girl. One woman. One person. Doing the best I can to live the life I am here to live.

I am doing the best I can.

And so is everyone else.

No matter what it looks like from my perspective.

"Walk a mile in someone's shoes..."

All I can do is release the judgment I hold against myself and others for how they are living their lives. How I am living mine. 

All I can do, is walk in peace. And let others walk peacefully as well.

With compassion. With kindness.

Without judgment.

But dammit, I can walk in kick-ass-sexy shoes if I so choose.
  



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Blogging has taken a back seat once again.

It's been an odd couple of months, blogging wise. Wanting to share. Not sure what to share. The boundaries between being open, vulnerable, authentic... and yet respecting others' who may not want to read about their lives here. Finding the balance? Not really. So just stayed quiet.

Ready to share again.

It's been a busy time. Lot's going on. But I have been determined to not let the many facets of daily life - the day to day details that must be seen to - get in the way of adventure, creativity, and time for myself.

A little recap of what's been happening...

Here is a painting I finished recently. It's very sparkly because of the flash. Actually a fun effect that I wasn't aiming for.

(new painting)

I also needed to have some travel fun. It feels like travel has fallen way down on the list of priorities over the years. It used to be number one. I miss it. It's partially due to finances. But also seeking other paths and exploring different avenues. Time to move it up on the list again. I took my son to visit my brother and Los Angeles. For Ian it was a the chance to soak up big city life. He loves him some skyscrapers. Fortunately my brother lives right in the middle of the historic district of downtown LA. Heaven for one little 7 year old.

(Ian with his Uncle Scott, on the rooftop of my brother's apt. building)

For me it was a bit of a nostalgic visit, having grown up in Los Angeles. We drove around all the the familiar sites and scenes - same yet different - with 80's alternative rock as the background soundtrack. Took me right back.

We did big city things...  

Hanging out at cafes.

(cafe time)

Took in the art scene.

(second Saturday art walk, downtown LA)

 Had sushi in Little Tokyo.

(Ian's favorite sushi, he always amazes me)

And we did touristy things too...

That's the Hollywood sign back there on those hills.

 (I grew up looking at those antenna towers on the top of those hills, but from the other side)

 We saw a movie in Hollywood too. But no movie stars.

(no one more famous than the muppets)

And we had to go to the beach, of course.

(nothing like the beach)

All in all, a very successful visit! 

A fabulous get-away before school started up.

And this is my son. Love him.

(Ian's desk at school)

As if all that weren't enough going on, this handsome fellow ended up moving in after all (long story).

(Misty)

Unfortunately, The Queen...

(P.C. The Queen."P" standing for precious, pretty, princess, precocious... "C" for cat)

...she is SO not into him. It's been an adventure and a half keeping the peace around here. Territory issues. Feeding issues. Howling in the middle of night issues.  Exhausting. But what can I do? Love those kitties.

And before summer disappears completely, one more adventure. The aunts were in town. We got to spend the afternoon on a boat on the Sacramento river. One of them is not doing so well, so it was a bittersweet day. But the beauty of the river and the joy on my child's face filled me up. Health is something to not take for granted, a reminder that is both hard to remember but so worth remembering.

(on the river)

And finally. 

FINALLY! 

Got a gift of a superb table - thanks KW! Art studio is at last starting to take shape. So I've been dabbling with paint and art journaling (it's been forEVER!).

(Misty gives his blessing of the space)

And generally basking in the goodness that this space holds.

Full moon - blue moon. A blessedly good space.

(view from studio, full blue moon)

Have missed this blogging place.

It's nice to be back.

And VERY excited to be heading towards autumn. 

My most favorite time of year!