Anything is Possible!

With Faith, Hope and Perseverance


24 Comments

Angel Signs in a Brick (Or Am I Just Seeing Things?)

It started with this brick.

brick and pencil lines

My mission was to paint an angel on the brick to be added to the legacy walkway at the Forest of Dreams. Knowing that I sometimes see angels in wood, trees, and clouds, I peered at the brick for angel signs. Over the next hour, all kinds of things emerged in the brick. I penciled in the wings of the head angel and started a sketch of what I saw. It was an emotional experience bordering on mania. I have a reputation for calmness, so my mania could be another person’s normal. Who knows? But when I get in a drawing or painting zone, it feels kinda manic to me. I often talk to myself in this zone. When I was almost finished with the sketch, I started crying. I’m not entirely sure why, but it has to do with beginning to understand what was happening, even though I’m not sure what was happening.  But I can tell you that working on this project definitely had a supernatural feel to it.

brick sketch 1 (3)

When I do this kind of work, it doesn’t matter that the house needs painting, or that I “need” a new kitchen floor, or that my house is cluttered, or that parts of the bathroom floor feel slightly soft when I step on them. When I am lost in this process of discovery with art, it doesn’t matter that gravity is slowly drawing my body parts closer to the earth and that my thighs are lumpy. When I’m in the zone, none of this matters. As long as I can keep my vision and hold a pencil or a paintbrush for another 20 or 30 years, I’m happy.

The image in the brick was too complicated for the purpose of the legacy walkway, so once I got the sketch done, I painted this angel on the brick.

painted brick w angel (2)

 

A few weeks later, motivated by the local Silver Arts competition (part of Senior Games – omg that must mean I’m a senior), I started the painting. It’s not unusual for me to feel tired after a couple of hours in the zone. While painting the images from the brick, I felt more than tired. I had a lot of trouble with the faces, but I kept at it. Waves of exhaustion and subtle nausea passed through me. Maybe it was just low blood sugar. The first time I noticed this, I grabbed a snack, drank some water and kept painting. A little while later, even drinking water and listening to James Taylor didn’t help anymore, so I stopped for the day. The next day, the painting started to come together, and I was on top of the world. Good to remember how those feelings can change.

 I wonder about the energy of the creative process. Have other artists experienced unusual exhaustion or surprising emotion while or after doing creative work?

Of course, the finished painting wasn’t exactly like the sketch. It took on a life of it’s own.

Welcome Home 2017

“Welcome Home” by JoAnna of the Forest/JoAnne Macco

 

I am so thankful God, the universe, and my husband have made it possible for me to stay home to re-discover my creative soul, work on the passions of my heart, and look for signs of angels.

 

 

 


16 Comments

All (or Nothing) Up in My Head

SOCS

Linda’s prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness is “all or nothing.” We get bonus points if we start and end our post with one (or each) of them.

All or nothing thinking is one of my pet peeves. There are so many possibilities between all and nothing. Just like there are so many beautiful colors between black and white.

As a counselor (and a parent) I encouraged people to watch out for words like always and never because they usually mean someone is not thinking accurately. But it does seem like I always have something to do. I guess that’s better than having nothing to do. But it’s nice to have moments of nothing to do but take a nap or watch the sunset.

River sunset orange and blue

Here’s one of my gazillion sunset photos.

I’ve had a busy week getting ready for the Silver Arts competition (part of Senior Games) which includes literary, visual, and performing arts categories. I entered a poem and an essay, and I’m finishing one of two paintings I need to turn in on Monday. All this is happening as my book is getting finished up. There was one final glitch in the typsetting. I say final with some eye rolling because I’ve thought I had a my “final” book cover and “final” PDF to upload more than once.

Gah! When it rains is pours.

Today, working on the painting of angels, which I will share with you next week when it’s done, I got keyed up. I feel emotionally tired after painting for a couple of hours. I want to relax more. But I talk to myself while painting, making comments on whether something is working or not. I spent about an hour on two angel faces trying to get them right.

Do any other artists feel emotionally drained after working on a painting? I don’t feel this from writing, unless I’m writing about something emotional. Which sure did happen writing my memoir.

I asked my gynecologist last week if it’s normal to feel mood swings after menopause that feel hormonal. She said it’s normal, but it’s not necessarily hormonal. She said it’s maturation. I think that’s the word she used. She said as we age, our nervous system doesn’t work quite as well as it used to, so some people get more easily frustrated and some, like me, get weepy. But then the next day, or the next hour, I’m fine. Or better than fine! Plus I realize that I have more time to think now that I’m not working that intense job I did for 30 plus years. Sometimes I have too much time to think, too many conversations in my head. It’s better when I talk to the dog.

So today, I used some mindfulness techniques and rode the old Schwinn I bought for $10 at a yard sale. I rode around my neighborhood with the wind in my hair and finding all the hills I didn’t know existed with my 61 year old knees getting a reminder of the old days. It was a good balance after all that painting and being all up in my head. Balance is something I will continue to seek to stay away from the all or nothing.

 

Doodle and bike

I just had to share my “new” bike (and my old dog)

 

 

Here are the rules for the Saturday Stream of Consciousness Post:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


14 Comments

We’ll Always Have Projects

 

paintbrushes-and-plants-2

I project that I will always have a project. A work in progress. I can’t remember a time, though there may have been one, long, long ago, when I was finished with one project and did not have another one waiting in the wings. Having an old house ensures that we will always have projects. Good thing I like to paint. Not scrape and sand the outside of our wooden house, no, that gets old. But I do like to paint.

I painted my bedroom by myself. After I won a free room painting in a raffle, the guy wouldn’t return my calls, and I finally decided, I can paint it myself! It’s light aquamarine.  That project took a while. But it inspired me, over the years, to paint my living room (a tad darker than my blog background) and the other bedroom (light plumb) myself. Come to think of it, I’ve painted every room of my house-except for the kitchen which has paneling, but I did put the economy class vinyl? tiles on the kitchen floor a very long time ago. That’s another project that needs doing.

There have been times when a person was my project, though I don’t like to admit that, because the only person I really need to focus on changing is me. I’ll always be a work in progress, as we all are, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time, or any time really, projecting what I want someone else to change about him or herself. But don’t we all have those thoughts?  Like wishing someone would….

I think I will stop here before I get myself in trouble.

Except that I want to have some fun projects soon. For me, that means art, painting, puttering. I’ve put off doing several painting projects until I get my manuscript off to be formatted. My book has been one of the longest lasting projects of my life, besides my life, and maybe my daughter’s life. But like I said, I should stop now. Because my daughter has her own life. Yep. I’m done. Getting her through high school was a project. Now I’m done.

Ha! Not really.

I wonder if I’ll have projects after I’m dead. I hope I get to choose. Which reminds me that I am SOOOOO thankful to have time to work on the projects of my choosing, now.

Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt, “project,” is brought to us by Linda G. Hill.

I’m not linking back to her prompt post today because….well, I broke the rules. I edited a wee bit. Then I edited a wee bit more. So this post is mostly Stream of Consciousness, with a little editing.  Yep. Now I’m a rule breaker. It’s because I retired from my 30 year job as a substance abuse counselor. I was always so compliant! Now all hell’s gonna to break loose. Nah. Not really. I’ll follow the rules next week. I promise. But I did follow rule #8.

Please visit Linda’s blog, and enjoy the many streams of consciousness at

https://lindaghill.com/

Here are the rules for SoCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

 


9 Comments

I Always Come Back to Blue

blue-blue

Blue was my first favorite color as a child. Then I started liking purple around the time of puberty. In high school, it was green. Everything I wore was green from my ecology T shirt to my green woven Sagittarius purse. I like yellow and amber quite a lot, too. But when all is said and done, blue is still my favorite.

Here are a few attributes of blue that explain why I like it so much. Source: Artist Raetta Parker

  • Blue is the color of the sky and sea.
  • ¨ It is often associated with depth and stability.
  • ¨ It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
  • ¨ Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect.
  • ¨ Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness.
  • ¨ In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.
  • ¨ You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water).
  • ¨ Blue is linked to consciousness and intellect.
  • ¨ Blue is a masculine color; according to studies, it is highly accepted among males.
  • ¨ Dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability; it is a preferred color for corporate America.
  • ¨ Avoid using blue when promoting food and cooking, because blue suppresses appetite.
  • ¨ When used together with warm colors like yellow or red, blue can create high-impact, vibrant designs; for example, blue-yellow-red is a perfect color scheme for a superhero.

Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness.
Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.

Sounds good to me, except that I don’t need the corporate part anymore, and I don’t think blue’s necessarily a masculine color by nature. I think the blue/pink dichotomy is a learned thing. But I don’t want to get too serious, that’s where splashes of yellow help.

sunflower-yellow-at-chc

I didn’t realize that blue suppresses appetite! No wonder so many restaurants use red.

I love all blues: sky blue, blue-green, icy blue, true blue.

blue bottle (2).JPG

blue-light

Can you imagine the world without blue? Without color? Color is a treasure.

What’s your favorite color? I’d love to know what you like about it and how it affects you.

pier-at-dark-twilgiht

Just Jot It January is brought to us by Linda at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/30/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-30th17/

For today’s prompt, “Blue,” thanks to John Holton at https://thesoundofonehandtyping.wordpress.com/

just-jot-january

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.


19 Comments

Tingles, Natural Highs, and ASMR

Do you even get a tingling sensation when someone else is brushing your hair or while getting a haircut?  This is what happens to me. I can get pretty blissed out at the hair salon, as long as there’s not a lot of talking. One of my college professors told me there are monkeys who go into trance while grooming each other. You might think this is weird, and that’s okay. I find it fascinating.

I’ve also felt this same euphoric feeling at other times, like when my husband caresses my arm with a repetitive motion. It can be an intense natural high with zero risk since I wouldn’t indulge while driving or doing anything requiring alert status. If I want to indulge in something when driving or needing to be vigilant, there’s always dark chocolate.

A while back, someone told me about Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which sounds a lot like what I’ve experience, except that ASMR is usually elicited by auditory and/or visual stimuli including repetitive sounds or movements or whispering. There are all kinds of videos for ASMR. Some involve role plays of hair styling or scalp massage. Here’s one with doodling that combines repetitive drawing motions with the sound of the marker on the paper. (You might need to increase the volume.) I recommend watching in big screen. But do NOT watch these videos before driving or doing other activities requiring your full attention or quick reaction times.

No wonder loved to doodle repetitive lines and circles in boring meetings! The video response is something new to me, but I’m finding it to be very calming when I have time to relax.

For more information, you can click on this link from Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_sensory_meridian_response

just-jot-january

Just Jot It January is hosted by Linda Hill at :

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/12/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-12th17/

Today’s prompt: “Tingle” is brought to us by Tessa at:

https://finallyawriter.com/     Thanks, Tessa!

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.


14 Comments

SOC/JJJ: A Fresh Coat of Paint

As you can see, I decided this blog could use a fresh coat of paint. Let me know what you think. It won’t stay exactly like this, because the colors won’t go with the book I’m going to be putting on the side bar. My book colors are more browns and tans, but for now, I’m staying with the blue cause I like my header photo.

Here are some ideas I have come up with for the book cover. (The one that’s just a road in the trees would be the border. I can’t figure out how to post the one I created in publisher)

ttt-3d4-jpg-dec-10

    Expert Services came up with this one. I like it but think it lacks color.
sun-path-through-trees-pixabay

I want to use this picture (from pixabay) as a border around the one above.

I’m working on a painting for the back cover that will be a silhouette with a tree and dogs at the bottom. I’ll show you that when I get it done. Dogs are big supporting actors in the book. If the painting turns out good enough, it might even be the cover.

This is all such a new experience, pulling these elements together. But it’s fun. And I love playing around with color. I am looking forward to something a little simpler, though. I just got two windows put in the back of my house which is old, and I’ll have to paint around the window where the drywall was repaired. But that will be fun.

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot it January was the word, coat. To learn more and read more, visit Linda Hill’s blog at:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-and-jusjojan-jan-717/

SOCS   just-jot-january

Here are the rules for SoCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


11 Comments

Tangible Healing

broken-heart-from-pixabay

It was 16 years ago. The emotional pain was tangible. Like the bottom fell out of my stomach and my head was somewhere far away.

I had believed that “to death do us part” meant that we would grow old together, and travel out west chasing the sunsets.

I was willing to work on it, to do my part, be more attentive, go on vacations, whatever.

But it was too late.

They said it was just acid-reflux that made my chest feel so tight, like a fist closing around my heart.

So I had to learn to take slow deep breaths in between the sobs in the hallway sitting on the hardwood floor when the kids had gone to their dad’s new place.

It took time for the pain to subside into mere sadness. Then there were the cover-up rebounds. The first one a disaster, the second better, but stressful and not a good fit. But at least I was  making progress.

Finally, I learned to work on me, and to trust that God had a plan.

Now, my heart sings a new song, better than any song I could have imagined.

Now, the joy is tangible like the ocean waves  caressing my skin, like a cool breeze on a warm day, or a warm blanket on a cold night.

healing

I painted this during the cover-up rebounds.

(The broken heart at the top is from pixabay)

This post was written in response to the Just Jot it January prompt: “tangible,” provided by Prajakta at https://anarmchairperfectionist.wordpress.com/

This post is also for TS.

Except for the last two lines, it summarizes Chapter 13 of my Work in Progress.

 

just-jot-january

The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2017-rules/ You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.