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A state of joy?


I find myself in a strange state. I've read back over my old posts. A lot of them are the same thing over and over. I was astonished at how well I lied to myself. Now when I say a strange state, I mean I have no idea what is going to happen now. Anything I can think of, I can do. If I want to move to California, I can. If I want to move to another country... I could dye my hair rainbow.. My house could be painted any obnoxious color I like. I am filled with this sense of freedom and it is weird. I feel that if I don't do something with it, I will be disrespectful to the opportunity.

But then again, I am a methodical decision maker. I rarely act on impulse when it is a big thing, I have plans now that include only me. I don't have to worry about someone else, how they feel, how they are going to act, how I'm going to take care of any problems that arise when they act the way they do. I lived in a state of constant stress over how my ex behaved. I didn't know what lie was told to whom. I was constantly in damage control mode. If there was ever a job made for a codependent, its PR. I spun stories about him without even thinking about it. I just did my best to make him look better, and to help make me look like less of an imbecile for staying with him. Especially with his family. I doubt it ever worked.

It hurts. A lot. Still. Forever.

But the hurt is less than the joy I've found. I like me. I am proud of what I've done now. I'm not proud of my past, but damn if I didnt learn a lot of lessons from it. I'm excited for whats ahead of me. It is good.

Question:
I feel as if I should censor myself on this blog because of mutual friends and family. I'm going to ask for feedback. Do you want me to be honest and open, or honest and censored?

Leprechaun Traps are Serious. Business.


I'm going to tell you about something that is so very special to me. To warn you, my childhood memories are a mishmash of things that happened and things that I wished happened, or maybe happened but on a different day.

Its not often that I have stories to tell because I'm not that good at piecing together the images and such. That's why I rely on my dad, brother, and cousin to tell me most stories. I know a lot of stories from their perspective, for instance; The time I proposed to my cousin when I was six because he was the nicest and best boy I knew; How I stormed down the road to a neighbor's house to beat up some 8 year old punk who was beating up my 6 year old 'brudda' - I was 5...

This isn't that. This is my warm, sunny memories of St.Patrick's Day. My mother had a certain flair about holidays... some people call it gaudiness, I call it flair. She had all the jewelry, the decorations, and of course, the glitter. Her side of the family is Irish. Honest to goodness, see through milky white skin with freckles that congeal in the sun and create what you might pretend is a tan if it weren't the middle of winter, blue eyed, red headed Irish.

St.Patrick's Day was special.

The week before, my brother and I would start on our Leprechaun Traps. This is VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS, people. If you trap a leprechaun, they have to grant wishes! Every year, we made them better and better.

The last one I remember making was a triumph of a diorama, a bar scene in which Barbie was sitting there, oh so lonely, with a Barbie and Leprechaun sized mug of my dad's best beer. She was looking lovely, to be sure. I  KNEW it was going to work this time! I went to bed with all the confidence in the world. I was going to have a Leprechaun in the morning. He was going to be delighted with my trap and congratulate me on outsmarting him!

To my dismay, I woke on St. Patrick's Day the same way I always had. Leprechaun Tracks were everywhere! The damned thing had danced on my head and pranced around my room and all over the house! The proof was in the tracks! Everyone knows that Leprechauns leave green glitter tracks where they travel. I was covered in green glitter and so was the hallway and... (It takes forever to wash a pound of green glitter out of your hair and clothes and bed and just try vacuuming the stuff) and ...Oh no, of course my trap... He had left me a bag of gold foiled chocolate coins and other vaguely holiday themed candies. The beer had been drunk, Barbie was sitting there like the traitor she was, bedecked in her gold gown, covered in tell tale tracks.

My mother consoled me in my loss, but made green eggs and ham as was our tradition and promised corned beef and cabbage for dinner. I'm sorry to say I don't really remember much else. I remember my brother and I with glitter in our eyelashes... vacuuming... the mirth in my mom's eyes as she watched us...

Funny that in finding out that Santa wasn't real... I was more upset that if Santa wasn't, then leprechauns weren't.

The year we moved from California to Washington... when I was helping pack up what was left of my mom's things, I found a giant bottle, half full, of green glitter. To this day, this memory makes me tear up in the best of ways. Every now and again, I wear a green glitter bangle that- in one look- brings me back to that feeling.

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I just dreamed that I was watching Tevya on Letterman and he was talking about his wife and farm. While I was in the recliner, I got shot with an arrow through my right shoulder and arm that didn't go through my arm all the way. Jeff said wouldn't push the arrow through when I asked; I told him to just make a small incision and then push it. He refused, so I called Eric who showed up with an ambulance. Instead of giving me pain meds, he gave me a bottle of wild turkey and said it was standard procedure for arrow wounds. So I told him about Tevya on Letterman and drank.
I then woke up and said "That was fucking weird and I have to post it on facebook."

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Trying to start something real


Out of the air I am pulling a business. I dont know what will happen with it, but I hope it will go somewhere. I really enjoy it as a side project. It helps to give me a creative outlet and yet, I'm terrified of it. I have no damn clue what I'm doing. I'm just sort of bumbling along hoping that people like my Hair Art enough to buy it.

I've made something that is new and different, I think. Not the hair facinators, but the ability to switch them to the method of wear you like. I think their versatility will shine if I promote it enough. I haven't ever seen it done and really sort of surprised myself with the idea. The "slip" was just a way for me to put it on a headband to make it look nice, but then, I realized it would be so cool if you were able to switch how you wear it. I have had headbands I love so much, that I wish they were clips... this creates a way for someone to have both. I've used old earrings and other jewelry as accents and am very pleased with the results, as well.

Since the initial purchase of supplies, I haven't saved receipts, and I need to start doing a real bookkeeping... thing... with it. Really, though, I have no idea what to do. I have my business concept, I have product, I have a virtual shop, and a little tote that I can carry the product in... but after that? I have to figure out the look I want for business cards, I have to figure out the feel of it all. How I want people to see my product.

So here is me just jumping in and hoping that I can swim or at least tread water until I figure it all out.

Sooooo.....

Buy my stuff!

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Thanks #reverb10


Okay, so I failed out of the Reverb10. Lets be honest about it. I did not like reviewing my year. It hurt, and it seemed as if the same question was being asked, daily. A few made me excited to answer, but I feel as if I cant really do it any more (not to say I really did it in the first place).

What it helped me to do was realize what was important to me about me. I had focused so much on who I was to my friends, my husband and everyone else, I didn't even see that I wasn't being someone to myself. I neglected the core of me. In the past month, I've started to find it. To find what I am proud of myself for, to find what I'm ashamed of, and to find what I need to work on.

I think that this coming year promises to be difficult, but the sort of difficult that ripping a band-aid off is. You know its going to hurt, but you know that there is healing happening underneath.

I opened my portfolio last night. I had forgotten how much I had stuffed inside. As I took out, in succession by size, each piece of art, I found myself smiling, crying a little, and even a little awestruck. I am good. With instruction to help with inspiration, I can be great. The art I did in my one year of college showed me that. In art, I meet the goals I set. I hadnt realized that. I set out to learn something and I do it. Same with cooking. Funny, that.

The feeling of putting something in front of myself and saying "Make that something beautiful" is inspiring. I've felt more of me in the past two weeks than I have all year. In the past 7 years, I think, really.

I dont know where I'm headed but I know that this year is about healing. About taking the bumps and bruises from last year and marveling at the way a bruise colors or how a scab gets its craggyness. The way to get out pain is the same way to get out joy. Expressing myself in what I create.

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PAINTING!!!

Spacey!
Originally for my Secret Santa at work, I was going to go to a local gallery and buy a print of a piece of art for her. I decided (my wallet decided) that I should paint something for her instead.

She's a lover of animals, horses specifically. So I looked up a picture of a horse, did a quick sketch and here is what I had after laying down the first cycle of paint.



The background is done with a mix of black, blue, purple and green. I took my cue from images of stars in space. Its multicolored and wonderful. The horse is in a bright orange and a bright yellow right now.

The next step was to increase the shadowing on the horse to make it feel like it had a little more depth. I wanted to have it have a not quite opaque feeling... like it might be misty around the edges.  I added layers of dark orange, bright orange, dark yellow, and bright yellow (there are fancier names for the colors, but I mean, come on. thats just getting a little douchey if I name each color). White was added as a last little oomph. Then the mane and eyes and tail were layered in. 



The quote is "The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears." Its an Arabian Proverb and so suitable to the idea behind the painting.

Since it was inspired by stars and such, I wasn't sure I was done here. I wanted it to be more... heavenly. So I added a sprinkle of stars.

Aaaaand its done.


So Merry Christmas, Sharon. I hope you like it... Really. I hope you do.

Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?


Every year I post a Thanksgiving blog. I recount what and who I am thankful for. Because of that, I'm going to focus on my appreciation of whatever quality got me through this year. If you would like to see my post about those in my life that I love and am entirely grateful for, please do.

The only (and I really mean ONLY) thing that got me* through my year is sheer stubbornness. I'm a Taurus with Aries tendencies, so basically, the stars say I'm immobile and feisty when my mind is made up.

This year, I was determined to just get through it. I put my head down and just plowed the hell through it. I had help, of course. I tried journaling, I tried fighting, I tried feeling, I tried and tried. I found that if I just kept going, not giving in to the need to stay in bed all day, not staying drunk or high**, not giving in to the desire to just give up entirely, I managed not to fall apart. Barely. Just barely.

Knowing I was off a cliff and not looking down. I Road Runnered that shit. (That was Road Runner as a verb, in case you didn't catch that)

Learning that stubbornness young was the key. I learned that if you don't actively aid in your destruction, you probably won't be destroyed.

I like to think that nothing can hurt as badly as losing my mom. I like to think that it taught me a lot. I like to think those things. They make me believe I can manage all right. In truth, it hurt like hell, but I can hurt again, and it will feel as bad - it just might not last as long. In truth, it stunted me emotionally, taught me how to protect myself so no one else could get in. In truth, I'm managing, but just barely.

My stubbornness to get through this year, bloodied and bruised, but THROUGH it, has helped me manage. I'm just finally starting to be broken down enough that I find old walls that need to be moved so that a more realistic, livable structure can be built.*** I'm glad that I found strength in sheer stubborn will. Maybe I'll be able to put it to use in a more gentle application as I move forward in the new year. If not, the old application worked.

Between the outside help of my friends and family and my inner stubborn bitch, I am able to get up, dust myself off and try again.

Thanks.





*By "me" I mean my inside me. My head me. Not, you know... me. It makes sense. Really, it does.

**I smoked pot waaaaay more this year than I ever have. Not that it was a lot... I think maybe 25 times? Something like that. And I think I got drunk maybe 7 times. Yes. I can count it. Yes. I am that weird.

*** I have moved through a LOT of analogies. I'm sort of sorry for this, but they're working for me, so I'm going with it.

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Action? Feh. #reverb10


Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step?


I have found that a lot of my reaction to the prompts ends up being something almost visceral. NO! I don't want to write that! Its the same damn thing! No! I DONT WANNA!

I feel like I'm just going to end up promising myself something and not following through. So I'm not going to. I dont like this post. It makes me unhappy and I don't feel I can really get something helpful or progressive out of it.

Instead, I will tell you that I have several projects in the works that will be finished in their own time. I will not rush my creative process because when I do, I'm unhappy with it and it ends up being a false expression. 

So there, number 13. I don't like you.

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Body oh 12 #reverb10


Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?


I love me. I know I'm overweight. I'm still well put together. My ideal weight? 160. (thats a size 10 for me and a 36DD) My current weight? 214. (really, I just weighed myself.) Its 54 lbs. I could lose it, if I was overly concerned. Really, I'm afraid of killing myself. The more I work out, the more my heart hurts. When I was 140lbs, I had a 28in waist and heart palpitations and felt worse than I do now. My resting heart rate has always been crazy high (usually just under 100, like 97). My working heart rate goes easily over 200 beats per minute so the machines scream at me and shut off. I dont like working out because it makes me feel unhealthy. How's that for reasoning? I love pilates and yoga, mainly because I like muscles and I'm flexible. They also dont scare me. I wish I could run, find the peace that others do in it. I just find pain and fear. I have accepted who and what I am concerning my body.

So here's a poem.




Body oh
                beautiful body
We spent so much time together
We danced
                       we laughed
                                       (we did other fun things)
Where have you gone? I've looked for you in the
      endless hours at the gym, seeing other bodies
                         striving
to get to that sad point
           like hamsters in a cage
I've looked in the health food section,
the size 10 jeans,
our bin of discarded too small 'skinny' clothes
... You aren't anywhere.
I found
                       bits of you
in the plus section the other day
... At least I thought it was you

I didn't quite recognize you
     It seemed to me that you were hiding
I suppose that being bigger now, you're more noticeable
-more voluptuous-more tactile-more enveloping-
So
      you might need to hide from all that extra attention

Like a star from paparazzi

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11 Things #reverb10


What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

I'm warning you that I've had a couple well poured Grey Goose and Sodas before this post. I have made the prompt suit my tipsy state. So there.

1. Eighties and Early Nineties Fashion. Didn't we hurt ourselves enough the first time? I mean seriously, its like a codependent relationship. We keep hoping for the best, but the neon colors and the shoulder pads fool us every time. Shame on us. No more, large lapels and checkered Keds, no more.

2. Mocha Latte Cappuccino Macchiato. I live in the PNW, and I make espresso drinks. Yes, eSpresso. Not eXpresso. Please learn how to order your damn coffee. I will not make you a 16oz caramel macchiato. I will make you a 16oz latte with caramel drizzled on top. A Goddamned macchiato is espresso with a dollop of foam on top. A cappucino is 90% foam. You cannot order a no foam cappuccino. That is a latte, and if it has chocolate in it, its a mocha. A shot of espresso has about as much caffeine as a cup of drip coffee, it will not get you more wired, especially if you dilute it in 2 cups of milk, Mr. I-Want-To-Be-Hopped-Up-So-give-me-a-20oz-double-shot-latte. That is 4oz of coffee with 16oz of milk. That my friend is coffee flavored milk. You want to be wired, drink a 12oz double-shot-in-the-dark. Its two shots of espresso in drip coffee. Or do some fucking cocaine. I don't care, just order your shit correctly.

3. I am done with this no money thing. I'm sick of being poor. I'm damned tired of it. This year, I'm going to take a risk or two with investments. I don't like to gamble with my money, so I haven't done anything with stocks and such, but this year, I'm all the eff over it. I will invest the S out of my money. Yeah! Take that stock market! And then quadruple it!

4. Holy crap I'm only on 4. I'm not drunk or witty enough for eleven. I am done with uhhhhh... paperclips? Nope. I like those. Um. OH!
Regular Litter boxes. Cats are haughty because they see us clean their poop on a daily basis. They must think we save it. And who wouldn't think they're better than the weirdo that scoops and keeps poop? I found this litter box that all you have to do is roll it and all the gross stuff gets trapped in the little pull out tray, and you just dump that. Then the cat's only worry is that you might roll it while they're doing their business. That ought to teach the smug little bastards.

5. Disorganization. Have you watched Neat? Its on every now and then. The woman is soooooo organized. Talk about taking a OCD issue and making the best out of it. She is the goddess of organization. I would like my house to be neatly sorted into adorable little boxes labeled (color coordinated and alphabetized) for my ease of use. I will endeavor to be a little more like Ms. Hellen Buttigieg.

6. I've totally lost track and now am on to rambling.
I make some pretty shit. I need to be selling it. I paint. I make hair flower/feathery things. They're delightful. My art is bright and fun. I write great poetry. I'm a great cook. I need to market these creative outlets and make some damn money.
Number 6 is called "Tired of being lazy"

7. Politics. Not in the sense that I'm done running in races and such, because I never have, and after a few more blogs like this, I never will be able to... I'm sick of people voting for social programs and voting against the funding for them. The American people are the smartest group of ignorant people I've ever seen. Its disgusting.

8. Lying to myself. I get it. I'm codependent. I'm married to an alcoholic. Its kinda what I do. But really, Leslie? You're gonna go to the gym? Are you sure you're not really going to sit in the recliner and eat ice cream? I don't judge the activity, just the statement. I'm cool with being a sexy full figured woman. I like my size 14/16 ass and my 40G breasts. They're well formed and home grown. I haven't truly exercised since last summer when I found my belly dancing DVD. Sure, I've done yoga, but that's not really exercise for me. Its time to accept that I am a homebody that is more at home cooking for others to fatten them up than working to skinny myself down. Not to say I'll never exercise,  just... that I wont lie to myself about it anymore. If I wanna eat ice cream, I damn well will. If I wanna step up and down and up and down and spin in a circle and up and down over and over, then I damn well will sign up for that stupid step aerobics class.

9. I only have three more. Seriously, I can do this. Is wedgies a viable topic? Cause I think we're all done with those... No? Something more, huh? Hmmm. Procrastinating? No, I already said I wasn't going to lie to myself.... How about not spending time on me? I think all women are guilty of this. We don't treat ourselves. Well, I don't anyway. I only ever do it with other people's money, like gift cards or bank robbery. Maybe this next year, I'll buy a jacket.

10. Verizon. I'm so tired of this company. I've been searching for different companies and think that TMobile is the way to go. What is with rewarding new customers, but not the ones that have been with you for years? That's crap, Verizon and you know it. New every two should cover all the lines, not just the "main" line.

11. Acne. I am a grown damn woman. I should not be getting acne. I switched to a new birth control and suddenly my face is volcano city. I mean really, should I have to trade not getting pregnant with not being as utterly cute as possible? No. I should not. Lamesauce, hormones. Lamesauce. I should be able to have as much sex with my husband without risk of screaming offspring mutating inside me as I like AND have flawless skin. Really.

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