Sunday, July 28, 2019

Vacation is over

I woke up this morning with the content of a blog post buzzing in my head.  I wrote it on my other blog 

This summer vacation was awesome, I work at a school so I have 2 moths unpaid off.  I completed major projects, tie-dyed with the grandkids, hiked, got sick, canoed, fell out of the canoe, ate out, got sick from food I ate (I'm extremely allergic to soy, I have a new appreciation of the problem of cross contamination) and thrived this summer.  I preach doing art and I did.  Crocheting, pour painting, finger painting, and cleaning up after these awesome projects.  

No photo description available.

No photo description available.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Do Art

Sounds like a commercial or something.  The saddest thing I see is the number of high school students that claim they can't Do art.  I was one of those students.  I was convinced by my teacher in 7th grade.  She looked at my paper that I erased a hole in it and refused to give me another piece of paper.  She told me I could not do art and don't take another art class.  Sadly, I believed her. 

Fast forward 30 years.  I was hired by the School of Art to take care of their computer lab for Photography and Animation.  I told them I had Zero art experience.  They underestimated how zero my zero could be.  They were frustrated that they couldn't talk to me because I had no idea what they were talking about.  The professors actually made me take Photography 101 as part of my job.  I literally clocked in for the day then attended art class.

The very first day the professor explained....Photography is science mixed with Magic.  All I thought was COOL.  I love science and magic.  I spent the semester learning the vocabulary needed to talk to the professors.  The first picture I shared in a student gallery some one pointed out that I was an artist.  I hotly denied such allegations.  I was NOT an artist.

Ten years later, I graduated university with a Bachelors of Art degree - Photography.  I learned that my 7th grade teacher lied to me.  I took drawing and painting and sculpture and wood working and so many different ways to create art. 

Now I teach students how to teach preschoolers ART!!!!! Yup.  I have to convince the students first.  I teach them about process art vs. project art.  Process art is you show the students how to do a technique then hand them materials and step back.  Too bad most parents expect a project to "look like something identifiable."  These are preschoolers. 

Now I encourage everyone to DO ART. 

The link takes you to a delightful book about becoming and artist. 

The Dot

Monday, July 8, 2019


For years, I cut myself off from my emotions.  Counseling painfully reconnected me to those pesky things.  I embraced them all...or so I thought.  This summer I felt envy.  Disturbing emotion.  So like every other emotions I looked it up on Mr. Google...(Yes, I designated Google as a know it all man....probably considered sexist but there it is.)  I knew that envy was one of the 7 deadly sins.  So what is so bad about it.

Envy is a comparative emotion.  I cannot have envy without comparing myself to someone else and coming up short.  They have something I perceive as better than what I have.  Described by Psychology Today: 
Envy has to do with feeling unhappy about the success of someone else, or about what they have and, at the same time, secretly feeling inferior yourself.

I see myself as less than.  Bummer.  I often see myself as less than.  Perhaps I feel it more often than I thought.  I believe that envy is at the root of "Keeping up with the Jones."  If the neighbor buys a new car then I have to buy a new car to keep up the appearance that we are equal.  Sadly, this can be detrimental to the person that is envious. 

I am fortunate that when my counselor taught me to connect with emotions he taught me two powerful concepts.  Emotions are temporary and I can change them.  Yup, read that right.  Some people will argue that they love some person the same but I will argue back that through experience that love will change either deepening or waning depending on the experiences I have with that person.  So back to the feeling envy.

I decided to evaluate what it was that I was envious of.  My daughter had something at her house that I would like to have at my house.  Did it cost a lot of money?  No.  Is it something I could attain?  Yes.  So what is the problem?  Oh bummer, I saw myself as deficient for not having my house in order like hers is.  I was comparing myself and seeing myself as inadequate.  The negativity of envy is to feel adequate a person may wish that the other person loses what they have to make things fair.  Or even sadder they may gossip or put down the other person to build themselves up.  So not going down that path. 

What to do?  I admire my daughter.  I like what she did with part of her house.  I am capable and smart and able to create for myself my own space.  There is no need for envy because the only thing I am lacking is putting my priorities in such away to be able to create the same space.  Nothing is stopping me, except me. 

I believe the Bible.  Another scripture I need to remember is Love thy neighbor, as Thyself.  I am neglecting my needs.  I don't need to compare myself.  If I like what she did, I can do it too.  She is my inspiration to do what I wanted to do for myself.  Her success does not threaten or stop me from my success.  I don't need to compare.  I believe the deadly sin part of envy is a person that is envious is eaten up by feeling inadequate instead of using the emotion as a motivation to change they justify putting down, hating, or being glad someone else fails.  I believe the antidote for envy is loving myself and seeing myself as a good caring person that deserves a place of peace in my home.  I can turn it outward and treating others with kindness and service.  Acceptance and gratitude also inoculate me from envy. 

Maybe I need to take a before and after picture of the space I want to create.....maybe. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Recovery Day

I need to remind myself that a day after any holiday is a recovery day.  I happen to love fireworks but the number of people that also love fireworks is a bit overwhelming.  I put on my emotional body armor and get through the evening Ooohing and Ahhhing and trying to get a few pictures that I will like.  Not easy.   I need to remind myself that it is a bit like running a marathon and I need to give myself some recovery time.  Just because I made it through successfully and enjoyed myself doesn't mean I don't need some down time today.  Too often I push and push and push myself then when my mind and body push back I get all upset.  I can be kind to myself.  That is one of the many things I learned in counseling, just because I wasn't cared for as a child doesn't mean I need to neglect myself as an adult.  I am going to enjoy my down time, too. 

Pictures from another year:

Sunday, June 30, 2019

I'm back and ready

I spent the last month experiencing adventures with my 2 daughters that live in other parts of the country.  I am thankful for time to enjoy those that live far away and reflect on this past school year. 
For some of my adventures

I spent time walking, lots of walking.  This coming March I am planning to participate in a major hiking experience.  I hadn't walked more than 4 miles on a hike for as long as I can remember.  This past month I learned to walk with a and adults enjoying each other.  I noticed that I can get very worried about little people walking to close to the road or the edge of a cliff.  I need to work with my over zealous reaction to some situations.  I learned to walk in the rain.  I spent time in an area that is experiencing record breaking rainfall.  If I didn't walk in the rain, I wouldn't go walking at all.  I did buy a second pair of tennis shoes to go walking in.  My shoes were getting so wet that when I put them on the next day they oozed water between my toes.  Not a comfortable feeling.  More time to dry my shoes with a second pair.  My final day of walking was a 5 mile walk, which is probably the longest walk since I was a teenager.  Go me. 

I also spent some time reflecting on where was I going.  What adjustments do I need to make to my life plan?  Do I feel like I am following Heavenly Father's plan for me?  I saw my daughters pray wall and felt a twang of envy.  I want a prayer wall.  I thought about my space in my house and what was keeping me from having a space of peace and reflection in my home.  I plotted and planned ways to change my space so that I can have a prayer wall in my house.  The movie War Room introduced me to the idea but I hadn't thought about why I had not created such a space for myself.  I felt a bit of envy then realized that the only one holding me back from having my own space is me.  Heavy sigh, the Lord often points out to me that I am my own worse stumbling block.  Plans are a foot to change that one piece of what I can do.  Summer is only one more month with plans of more adventures with grandchildren and adult children.  Yes, my kids are still my children but they are such amazing adults it is fun learning to let them lead.  I feel so blessed. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Living in Arizona

Sharing something silly....

1. You can say Hohokam and no one thinks you're making it up.
2.You no longer associate rivers or bridges with water.
3.You know that a "swamp cooler" is not a happy hour drink.
4.You can contemplate a high temperature of 120 degrees as "not all that bad, after all it's a dry heat."
5.You know that you can make sun tea outside faster than instant tea in your microwave.
6.You have to run your air conditioner in the middle of winter so that you can use your fireplace.
7.The water coming from the "cold" tap is hotter than that from the hot" tap.
8.You can correctly pronounce the following words: "Saguaro", "Tempe", "Gila Bend", "San Xavier del Bac", "Canyon de Chelly", "Mogollon Rim", "Cholla", and "Tlaquepacque", "Ajo".
9.It's noon on a weekday in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one single person is moving on the streets.
10.Hot air balloons can't fly because the air outside is hotter than the air inside.
11.You buy salsa by the gallon.
12.Your Christmas decorations include a half a yard of sand and 100 paper bags.
13.You think someone driving while wearing oven mitts is clever.
14.Most of the restaurants in your town have the first name "El" or "Los."
15.You think six tons of crushed rock makes a beautiful yard.
16.You can say 115 degrees without fainting.
17.Vehicles with open windows have the right-of-way in the summer.
18.People break out coats when the temperature drops below 70.
19.You discover, in July, it only takes two fingers to drive your car.
20.The pool can be warmer than you are.
21.You realize Valley Fever isn't a disco dance.
22.People with black cars or have black upholstery in their car are automatically assumed to be from out-of-state or nuts.
23.You know better than to get into a car/truck with leather seats if you're wearing shorts.
24.Announcements for Fourth of July events always end with "in case of monsoon..."
25.You have to explain to out-of-staters why there is no daylight savings time
26.You can say "haboob" without giggling. (I drove through one.  I saw it coming and knew I wasn't going to make it home before it hit.  Just drove slowly like everyone else.)
Yes, university students wrote a pamphlet on how to cook in your car.