Saturday, July 30, 2011


Here is the latest prompt from our Facebook writing group, Write, Eat, Post, Bathe. I am delighted about how the group came together and about the reconnecting we have done around our blog writing.

Optional prompt of the week: Take note of the things that annoy you this week. See if there is a pattern. Time, place, person, situation. Don't write about the annoyances. Just note them for your own record and ponder. After a few days of that, pick something that delights you and write about that. Poem, a few pithy sentences, short story, essay, flash fiction, shopping list, any genre. Let's see if we can take note of the bad but write the good. (This prompt is something I especially need.)


Oh, delight. Wherefore art thou, delight?

I am that first cup of coffee, helping you to greet the morning. I am that feeling you feel when you walk out the door of your building at work and you see the quad with its winding brick path and all those centuries old live oak trees. I am the one who is with you when you go out with your camera (weren’t you going to give your camera a name?) to capture your images of the world around you. I am the smile you smile when you are sketching a face and you get the lips just right, or the eyes both looking in the same direction, or the nose shaded well. Whatever, I am the concentration you bring to the drawing. I am that feeling you get in church when are enveloped in music so loud you can’t hear yourself sing (which, frankly, is just as well) and your heart is so still and quiet and you realize God is there with you in all the raucous and joyful noise. I am the golden heart-shaped leaves of your redbud tree, harbinger of fall. I am the green heart-shaped leaves of your redbud tree, reminding you, again, that spring and warmer, brighter days will soon come. I am the light-hearted loving moments in your family- don’t lose sight of me in their eyes, find me there. I am that small glass of wine at the end of the day, saying “goodnight moon.”

I am yours, my love, if only you will look and see.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

OMG - A Snippet From One of My Recent Days

I work in the Psychology Department of our local university as an administrative assistant. This all actually happened one day last week and I was emailing a friend a "blow by blow" description of the event as it was unfolding. The counselor was in with another client so it was just me and this woman in the office. Here is the note. There are no names named in order to protect the innocent. In fact, this might not have happened. I might  have dreamed it, or I might have made the whole story up.

Here is how it went:

There is a woman in our office right now, a client waiting her turn for gambling counseling.

She has:

Helped herself to the office phone to call her pastor to pray for her.

Taken over my phone book to find a home health service place she is looking for to apply for a job.

Called two home health service places to talk about coming in to apply.

Asked me to get online with the LA Employment Service (I did manage to point her to the student computer, which she is now using like it is hers and she is in her own personal office--oh, she says, "I should have asked if you were busy.")

Asked me to print TWO copies of her resume. (After I told her I had to put a code in for her to print, and she says, "to stop students from printing stuff?" Umm, yeah, you got it lady. I am not supposed to let people print stuff here. )

And I can't tell her no!!!

And now she says "Uh-oh, I got a problem. I changed one of my references and I need to reprint."

I went over and put the code in and she says "I bet you saying I know this woman got a problem. I bet you wish I'd leave you alone."

Me? I said "Oh no, ma'am, problems happen to all of us sometimes."

Didn't have the heart to tell her I was recording the event for posterity as it happened.

I think I need to grow me some balls.

But I was being all empathic.

And she did tell the counselor how helpful I'd been.

And the counselor also confirmed that I was helpful.

I still think I need to grow me some balls.

Wordless Wednesday 07/27/11

Monday, July 25, 2011


I went looking for a drawing I thought I had of feet and realized the drawing I was thinking of was actually a drawing of shoes. In the meantime, I came across this oldie but goodie and decided to stick it up here. I wrote the little saying and I have to say that I just love the sentiment. The feet are horribly cut and pasted onto the black background and I have often thought of trying to get a better foot picture and putting the saying on the better photo. I just have not gotten around to it.

Other foot memories:

When my brother was in the hospital for the last time, toward the end, he was very quiet. And every time I'd leave, I'd give a little tug on the big toe of his right foot and then I'd tell him bye. One night, his wife laughed and said "you know he hates when you do that."  I never thought he did and I kept on doing it. I am not a good hand holder and sometimes that was the only way I had to tell him I loved him and cared for him and dad-gum it, I really didn't want him to go.

When I was younger, the three of us, me, my younger sister and my younger brother would visit our uncle on my father's side. He had a dairy farm and sometimes we would ride on the tailgate of the truck while they herded the cows up the road. The road was red dirt and we were always going incredibly slow behind the cows and the dust just looked so pretty swirling up in clouds behind us. So pretty that I got this brilliant idea to stretch my feet down and drag them through the red dirt leaving little stretched out foot tracks in the road. It was a hot summer day and the dirt was so warm on my feet. I was having a really good time until I noticed the dirt had taken on a different feel, especially in between my toes. Well. I looked down and to my absolute horror, I realized that I was dragging my feet through pretty red dirt AND yucky wet cow pie! Needless to say, I scooted back up on the tailgate and did not drag my feet anymore.

That's about all I have to say about feet.

(Oh, yeah, this is a response to a fun writing prompt from my writing/blogging tribe/group. I didn't just all of a sudden take a hankering to write about feet! And I did not really do the subject justice, but there is no pressure to perform in this group, which is a good thing!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You Are Not Alone

I still remember how comforting it felt when the old guy at the teen rehab center bent down to look me in the eye and tell me "you are not alone" and then bent down and reminded my surly son as well. He was busy doing what he had to do, guiding my son and his suitcase to the back so my son could change clothes and he could check the suitcase for contraband. We'd never been through that before, my son and I, and it meant the world to me that the old man stopped and made eye contact with each us to tell us we were not alone. I was scared to death at what I was doing.

And that is today's lesson in this Ordinary Courage course I am taking: You are not alone.

It never hurts to be reminded.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"To Use Our Own Voice. To See Our Own Light."

I am struggling a bit with allowing myself to live with my own interpretations.

I am taking an online class right now that will likely drag up a bunch of stuff for me to deal with. Hopefully, once I am done, I will be better able to deal with the stuff and to live the life I am intended to live.

Some of you who read this blog fairly regularly may be interested in this woman's work, if not for yourself, then maybe for people you know. Her name is Brene` Brown and her website can be found here. I read hurried through her book The Gifts of Imperfection. It was excellent but I need to go back through it and go a little slower this time around. She also did a TED talk which you can find on YouTube if you'd like to listen.

That's about all I have to say about that at the moment. Perhaps there will be more later.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Write Because I Still Have Work To Do

I write to figure out what I am thinking.

I write to tell of the things I see. But I am subtle about it. I won’t come straight out and say what I see.  I want the reader to see what they see, not what I tell them to see. 

I write with a loose hand, knowing that when I let my words go, they are no longer mine, hoping that people will take from them what they need.

I write to record my version of the story, which will not be like any other person’s version because no one else has my eyes or ears.

I like when I have written something that resonates with others.

I don’t talk much so it seems I have to write.

I will probably never write in any professional capacity, though sometimes I dream of writing a book (but what would I write about?)

I got away from writing on my blog when I started hanging around on Facebook.  Then I started to feel like maybe I didn’t have much to say after all. And when I tried to think about writing on my blog, I started to imagine how goobery I might sound to people from my real life. I feel like I have found my tribe in those of you who still read my blog, like I have found a group of people with whom I share common traits and a common need, which is to write. Online tribes are very special and I am grateful for the sense of community. 

I am learning that I worry far too much about what other people think about what I am doing or saying. I am learning that it is okay for me to see what I see and feel what I feel. But It’s a long slow process.
It seems I still have quite a lot of work to do. . .

Saturday, July 09, 2011


What happens when lines converge? We know if we swam or walked to the "end" of the lines in these photos, we'd still see the same two lines we see now, with the same convergence going out of the top of the photo. 

But look at the photos. Here we are at the beginning of the journey. We have a left and a right. We have an inside and an outside. If we were a boat or a train, we'd definitely have a right and a wrong. A train can't travel far when it is off the track (reminds me of one of my favorite "Little Golden" books, about Tootle, who has to take lessons on "staying on the track no matter what"). When we are young, we need to learn to make these distinctions. Friend? Stranger? Good behavior? Bad behavior? 

But when we are older, and if we grow wiser, we begin to realize that some of those distinctions are no longer as clear as they used to be, nor or they as necessary as they used to be. The lines that used to be so clear begin to blur. And then what happens?

I think freedom happens.  And self-acceptance, which leads to healthy self-love. When that happens I think you settle into an ease, with yourself, with the world, with the people closest to you, with your faith. I think the heart gets larger.

(I'm not quite there yet. It's one of the reasons I don't allow "annie" to be on Facebook. But I'm working with myself on that problem. I have the right to be who I am. I have the obligation and the responsibility to be who I am.)

Friday, July 08, 2011

Do What You Can...

This one started off with a dictionary page glued to watercolor paper and then painted with the little girl added as a transfer.The last layer was the text which was printed and stained with paint then glued on. I've been thinking I might go back and add a layer of machine stitching around the text paper. I've had trouble with these darker backgrounds trying to figure out how to make the text more readable.

The text says "Do what you can, suffer when you must, love and grow as you are able." Really, what else can we do?

I talked yesterday with someone who was complaining about a mother who was being pushy in trying to get help for her young son who has developmental issues. The mother was angry with the insurance company about not providing for certain services for her son. The mother was pushing on the office that was providing the services. The mother was suffering.

I wondered out loud whether or not the mother was struggling with letting go of the dreams and hopes she had for her son, just beginning to mourn all the things that would not be, and not yet "there" in terms of acceptance so that her battle to help her son was still a little awkward.

The mother is suffering. How does that old saying go, "suffering in inevitable, growth is optional"? I had these flowery thoughts that I hope she grows into her suffering and becomes a formidable advocate for her son. I do hope that happens (and I believe it will). But right now, today, my biggest prayer for her would be that bitterness does not touch her. Because sometimes, when you see suffering lying there on the table, and you start thinking of all the losses and the things that will not be, well at the beginning, you have no way of knowing the good that often comes from suffering. You see the suffering and the loss and you can't imagine that any kind of brightness could come from such loss. But so often, there is brightness. And there will be brightness here, too. She will see it if bitterness does not sneak in and cloud her eyes.

May she more often than not be met with patience and grace on her journey. And may she have more than a few friends along the way who are willing and able to hold the light for her and who are wise enough to gently remind her to "Do what you can, suffer when she must, and grow when you are able."

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Magical Extractions

Playing around again. This one is simple and straightforward, just the image of the statue on a background I'd painted and scanned, and then the quote, which is a good one, although for me, it is far easier said than done! Because I have a hard time letting go of what others might think, I sometimes have a hard time allowing myself to be seen.

I used the "magic extractor" tool to pull the statue of the girl out of the original photo. It's too bad we don't have the equivalent of a "magic extractor" tool to pull out our insecurities and such!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


I've had a run of creativity lately resulting in maybe not the best stuff I've done but still, it's been fun to let go and experiment and just see what happens. This is one of those Photoshop experiments with an azalea picture and my feet and our dog. Oh, yeah, his right eye is from a photo of me.

Fun times, for sure. More to come, I am sure. But now, it's time to head back to work after the 4 day weekend. My art and my blogging do not pay very well, at least not in the currency that is accepted by the mortgage company and the utility companies and the grocery stores, not to mention the gas stations!